May 10, 2007
PC World: Ethics Wins Baby
What a whirlwind week for PC World's Harry McCracken, one of my favorite tech editors. One of the reasons he's one of my favorite editors is precisely the reason he resigned and returned to PC World over an integrity dispute in under two weeks - integrity, baby, integrity.
It's old fashioned journalism at its best and what will separate the winners from the losers. Gizmodo writes about it here and Harry's letter to the world here. Gizmodo has a fabulously funny photo of Harry riding a horse, sticking to his guns so to speak. Too fabulous not to post.
When I used to rep giants (Novell, Computer Associates, others of their size), there was always a discussion about that fine line between advertising and editorial integrity. Not everyone abides by those rules but the true stand-outs, those who understand what it takes to be an editor-in-chief, must -- and Harry did.
According to buzz on the street, he resigned because management (i.e., Colin Crawford), decided that a story entitled "Ten Things We Hate About Apple" might negatively impact advertising dollars. Egads, if Apple did pull advertising as a result, what would that say about Apple or anyone else who tried to unfairly pull rank? Sure, it happens all the time, but collectively as an industry, we can't allow our standards to drop.
Says Gizmodo rightfully, "when no one is buying mags or reading editorial because the CEO's padding the review with ad money, that's going to be pretty bad for business." Wired also covered the news. I'm thrilled that Harry's back, that it got resolved so quickly and that now, there's a healthy public example that ethics can win over money. And always should.
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