As promised earlier, here is a detailed list of articles that teach us why the press is often just a delivery system for companies. Remember that Linux hasn’t many backers that would spend money promoting it.
Linux Journal hits the nail right on the head.
Of one thing I am fairly certain. Microsoft all but eliminated mainstream software competition. As a result, Microsoft became the primary source of advertising revenue for mainstream publications. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. So instead of publishing issues calling for a worldwide boycott of Vista because it focuses more on what you can’t do than what you can do, you see special editions praising Vista as the greatest advancement in computing since Windows 95. Granted we all know that Windows 95 was a dog from day one, but by the 90s, the mainstream press had already become rampant with Microsoft sycophants and they pushed Windows 95 like it was the second coming.
In short, I’d love to see a mainstream publication become an advocate for the consumer once again.
As noted above, there are exceptions, including Linux Journal, most other FOSS-centered publications and even The Register. But we’re the little guys.
Some months ago (almost a year), the BBC got very close to Microsoft, whom they hired to do a lot of their work in the technology front. It did not take long for bias and gross discrimination against GNU/Linux users to appear. Consider these:
BBC viewers have flooded the corporation with complaints over how it covered the launch of Microsoft Vista earlier this week.
In one cringingly servile interview worthy of Uriah Heep, the Beeb’s news presenter Hugh Edwards even thanked Gates at the end of it, presumably in appreciation at being allowed to give the Vole vast coverage for free.
In other TV news items presenters excitedly explained how Vista could be obtained and installed – details courtesy of the BBC’s website.
But British viewers, currently forced to pay a £131.50 licence fee to maintain the BBC’s “impartiality”, were less than impressed.
Scores got in touch to complain that so much was Auntie up Bill’s bum that you could barely see her corset.
The BBC are holding an open consultation regarding how they’re going to delivery on-demand content, they want answers to questions like: “How important is it that the proposed seven-day catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who are not using Microsoft software?”
GNU/Linux is still being excluded. This leaves many Brits rather angry. The BBC, mind you, is funded by tax money.
Here are some very ugly ones:
Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of those involved in the deal didn’teven know he was one of the investors. It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy outfit.
Some media members are simply shocked that Microsoft’s PR team keeps dossiers on the reporters and bloggers who cover the company.
NBC is guilty as well.
I just got through watching a segment on the Today Show on NBC highlighting the launch of the Microsoft Zune.
First of all, I thought journalists were suppose to reveal their affiliations with any product if such an affiliation exists. Microsoft owns a stake in NBC ie MSNBC News Network.
Second, all the side by side product comparisons showed 4th Gen iPods with monochrome screens with no song selected or playing, while the Zune was playing a video.
This isn’t the first time NBC has misled its morning viewers with puff pieces about the Zune.
MSNBC recently reviewed Gears of War, calling it the Xbox 360′s first killer app…. Nowhere on the page is any indication of the possible ethical issue MSNBC is “Microsoft-NBC”, and the site is hosted as a subdomain of msn.com (a major Microsoft portal). Is this really balanced journalism?
Consider this very recent story, which reminds us that the boss of a newspaper is that which injects the most money.
Apparently he also told the staff that product reviews had to be nicer to vendors who advertise in the magazine. The sad thing is that given the economics of publishing in this day and age, I doubt anything even comes of this even tho it essentially confirms that PC World reviews should be thought of as no more than press releases. I know that’s how I will consider links from them in the future. But congratulations to anyone willing to stick to their guns on such matters.
Finally, the severity of the problem is confirmed no one other than Dan Rather.
To longtime CBS broadcaster Dan Rather, American journalism in recent years “has in some ways lost its guts.”
I do not exclude myself from this criticism… By and large, so many journalists–there are notable exceptions–have adopted the go-along-to-get-along (attitude),” he said.
“In many ways,” said Rather to loud applause, “what we in journalism need is a spine transplant.”
Now that we know who owns and controls the media through stakes and advertising, one should be aware that the Novell/Microsoft deal will be portrayed as a very positive event. Be critical when choosing your sources. The press will not always tell you the truth; instead, it will be companies’ perception of a truth convenient enough to embrace.