Internet news in crisis

News coverage in crisis on the Net

There's an old show-business joke about a play that is failing. A potential theatergoer calls the box office to find out when the show starts, and the ticket agent responds, "How soon can you get here?"

As a trade journalist, I sometimes feel like I'm in that failing play.

Trade journalism is one of the few environments that empowers employees to tell their employers what they can and cannot do. I'm not talking about unions vs. management here. I'm talking about the invisible -- and often fought over -- line between "church and state."

Church and state

In journalism, there is an unwritten law that says a publisher can only go so far in telling an employee what he or she can or cannot say about a product or company.

The battle over the line this law draws has been fought for many years -- topmost in the minds of both sides waging it.

Sure, I'm no naive kid who believes journalists would do what they do without getting paid. And I understand that without advertising there would be no pay check. But I appreciate -- even if some would say it is an illusion -- the fact that I am a few steps removed from the money side of the journalism business.

I can at least assuage my own conscience that I have nothing to do with money-grubbing capitalism and that I and my colleagues are pure of heart.

So you can imagine that I am quite proud of the company I work for when last year in a classic dispute between edit and advertising, Pat McGovern, chairman of the board of parent company IDG sided with edit. Here in US PC World's own words is a short summary and victory announcement rolled into one.

"In a surprise announcement, Robert Carrigan, president of IDG Communications, told PC World's staff today that 'Harry McCracken has decided to remain with PC World as vice-president, editor in chief.'

McCracken tendered his resignation on April 30 after [then-CEO Colin] Crawford refused to allow publication of a story entitled '10 Things We Hate About Apple.' McCracken said that the story was killed (it is now running on PCWorld.com) because of Crawford's concerns about the impact it would have on Apple advertising. Crawford denied that was the reason for killing the story, but has since apologized to the editorial staff for the decision."

Technology is the game-changer

Although that particular incident had a happy ending, thanks in large part to the way of the Web, the times are changing for trade journalism. The other side now has a new weapon that takes we journalists one step closer to mammon. In other words, the WWW may have discovered the ultimate WMeD (Weapon of Mass editorial Destruction), as journalism is under fire and taking hits from a less obvious direction.

Advertisers have always wanted to know the number of readers a publication has, the length of time readers commit to reading a particular story, how committed readers are to completing an article, and other methods that quantify the commercial value of the publication's editorial product.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ephraim Schwartz

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?