A PR pro shares her take on the impact The New York Times’ tech columnist has on the paper’s reputation
During the last 48 hours (a lifetime in today’s news cycle), there’s been a lot of chatter on blogs and the twitterverse about New York Times’ tech columnist David Pogue’s apparent conflicts of interest—the bulk of which smacks of schadenfreude—but some of which raises questions about the nature of journalism.
Without rehashing all the details, it goes like this: a highly visible, well-respected writer with a weekly space in the paper of record being raked over scorching coals for penning positive reviews of products for which he also writes third-party how-to manuals. His defense? “I’m not a reporter.”
Tech bloggers—a notoriously vociferous and at times a moody bunch (any PR pro who’s dealt with tech and/or mobile bloggers can comment on this)—seem to be leading the mob, with virtual pitchforks in hand. But the real question is will this affect Pogue and the Times, and what does this controversy say about the ever-blurring line between journalism and unvarnished opinion?