Bonum Certa Men Certa

When Does 'News' Qualify as Shameless Microsoft PR?

Summary: Exploration of Microsoft expansion in press holdings; Another Nick does de facto PR work for Microsoft, using the press

YESTERDAY we mentioned the fact that Microsoft/NBC acquired EveryBlock, which enables them to control even more of the media. There are examples of less direct control. For instance, TechFlash is receiving money from Microsoft and promoting Microsoft almost all the time (still promoting its main Microsoft sponsor, even yesterday). About the EveryBlock acquisition it wrote:



Msnbc.com, a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal, has been experimenting more with local news coverage lately. The news site has been providing months of granular coverage of the town of Elkhart, Indiana, documenting how local residents and businesses there are coping with the economic recession.


To control perception about poverty can be valuable to Microsoft. Unlike with TechFlash, this is not only the Seattle press which Microsoft controls.

The Different Nicks



As we noted before, the Ziff Davis-owned eWeek (mind relationships with Microsoft [1, 2]) has turned Microsoft Watch into another venue/outlet for Microsoft PR, just like they did with the Seattle P-I after it had closed shop. They use another Nick over there.

It still seems like it's all about marketing. Shortly after ODF FUD from Nick Kolakowski, there is promotion of Vista 7, Windows Mobile, and now there is veiled promotion of Internet Explorer, even using Microsoft-funded 'studies'. As the only comment rightly states:

Its a brave new world it there for Microsoft and eWeek. The question is, can they adapt, or are they just dinosaurs, as some people say, just waiting to die?

Quoting from an "bought and paid for" report. quote: "The study was sponsored by Microsoft, which led to a number of reader emails declaring it biased from the start." Yes, Nick it was more than biased from the start. I hope eWeek is not putting pressure on you to do this type of "fluff" for Microsoft, like they most likely were doing with Joe. The fact that you would then go on to use this bought and paid for "source" as a basis for your article, is repugnant, to say the least.

Nick, I think where eWeek is failing, is in understanding where the market is going now. Hint, its moving away from MS. Sure, it has a long way to go, but if you look at the factors to why its moving, you will see that the trend to alternatives will not stop. As such, eWeek needs to derisively, and seek out other advertising revenue besides the Vole. Because the day is coming, that MS will not have the advertising bucks to spend soon.


Why does Ziff Davis allocate sites for news about one company in the first place? This begs for attention, especially because it is so one sided, and quite likely by design. Is this media one can trust? One can identify the same symptoms over at CNET and ZDNet, but that's another story.

ZDNet



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