For a while now, we have been moaning about the Tame Apple Press and how the fruity cargo cult controls the media through its tame hacks and hackettes. This week a revolving door was discovered between the press and Apple after it was revealed that a reporter had been working for both Apple and as regular journalist.
Nilay Patel, the red-faced editor-in-chief of The Verge had to explain to the world why his magazine allowed Chris Ziegler to file copy for the magazine while he was actually working for Apple.
Patel admitted that the issue raised ethical issues of transparency and respect for the magazine’s audience. However, he was confident that there was no material impact on its journalism from these issues, but they are still serious enough to merit disclosure. We guess he means they would write nice things about Apple anyway.
Ziegler began working for Apple in July but didn’t think it was important to disclose his new job. After all it was just a time where Jobs Mob needed positive coverage in the press as it tried to push its buggy and disappointing iPhone 7 on the market.
Patel insists that the Verge apparently didn’t discover he’d been working at Apple until early September. Ziegler “was not in contact with them through most of August and into September. We often find that our Deputy Editor goes missing for a couple of months and no one thinks to ask where he is. Normally he can be found on the park bench opposite the Rat and Handgun pub.
Patel said that Ziegler was fired the same day they verified his employment at Apple and he insists that he did not attempt to steer any coverage towards or away from Apple, and any particular decisions he helped make had the same outcomes they would have had absent his involvement.
While it may have been true that Ziegler kept his shift to Apple secret and the magazine knew nothing of it, the question is, and will always be, is there a revolving door between Apple and its favourite journalists. Do journalists attempt to curry favour with Apple by writing stories the company likes as part of a cunning plan to get a cushy job in the future?
Obviously Apple is not going to hire someone who writes negative copy about them, no matter how true it was.