09.11.10

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NewsWeek Now Partly ‘Owned’ by Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Newsweek's Palin cover

Summary: NewsWeek’s main editor is now a Microsoft employee and MSNBC.com has a business relationship with Newsweek.com, which leads to subversion of news reporting

MSNBC is a complicated subject which we explored a great deal in posts such as:

To tell just the gist of it, MSNBC is partly owned by Microsoft and it shows. MSNBC censors itself based on the ownership (suggests evidence) and Newsweek’s Managing Editor recently became part of Microsoft, amid more MSNBC controversies. It is worth adding that not so long ago NewsWeek added as staff an anti-GNU/Linux slanderer with a long track record. He later smeared Apple quite a lot (Apple tried to prevent NewsWeek from hiring him) and nowadays he uses NewsWeek to promote Microsoft's agenda.

Yesterday we noticed that at the top of all NewsWeek pages there is an MSNBC logo, so we decided to find out the relationship between those two Web sites (if not network/magazine). It turns out that last year they signed a contract which also affects coverage, meaning that a Microsoft-owned network can now affect stories in NewsWeek, whose top editor recently became a Microsoft employee. From last year’s deal (which has not expired):

—Branding: Newsweek.com will continue to feature MSNBC.com in its top navigation bar but, as has been the case, MSNBC.com will not single out Newsweek as a content partner in navigation. MSNBC.com Deputy Editor Russ Shaw says the site had a special Newsweek box several years ago, but found in testing that users were more likely to click on a headline with Newsweek at the front than to pay attention to a branded box. They are looking at options that will show users a glimpse of the content on Newsweek.com as you hover over a headline on MSNBC.com

[...]

—Editorial collaboration: “We’re going to find new ways to collaborate,” says Dan Mucha, VP of finance and development for MSNBC.com.

The whole relationship went wrong and earlier this year there was an example, based on this story:

MSNBC Crops President Bush Out of Newsweek Cover

On Wednesday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough pointed out the cover of the latest edition of Newsweek magazine, which proclaimed “Victory At Last; The Emergence of A Democratic Iraq” and featured a picture of President George W. Bush walking the deck of an aircraft carrier. However, the image of Newsweek that appeared on screen cropped out President Bush’s face entirely (h/t George Miller).

[...]

UPDATE: MSNBC’s Lauren Skowronski contacted NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard and pointed out that on Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham was on the program to discuss the latest issue and a non-cropped image of the cover was displayed on screen. Skowronski described it as “a technical error” and an “unintentional mistake and will be corrected for future use.”

Given the nature of this relationship between MSNBC.com and Newsweek.com, the latter becomes as hard as the former to trust, especially when it comes to Microsoft-related issues (or news about its competitors). In Newsweek — unlike in MSNBC — there will never be an obligatory disclosure.

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