Tag: the wall street journal

Tech reporting becomes more negative

A  new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) claims that tech reporting was not what it used to be and is now a lot more negative.

The report was based on textual analysis of 250 articles from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post from 1986 to 2013.

Generally the ITIF found that in the 1980s and 1990s, coverage of technology was largely positive, but this changed from the mid-1990s to 2013, when more negative reports covering the downside of technology, its failure to live up to its promises, and potential ill effects, started to appear.

The ITIF thinks that there has been a significant increase in the number of civil-society organisations and attention-seeking scholars focused on painting a threatening picture of technology. Another reason is that news organisations are under increased financial pressure, and thus, reporters may have less time and fewer resources to dig deep into technology issues.

“Since media outlets generate revenue from page views, they have an incentive to pursue alarmist stories that generate clicks.”

Daniel Castro, ITIF’s vice president and the report’s co-author, said: “The way the media portrays any given issue shapes public opinion about it, and that in turn shapes the course of policymaking. So, it is important to ensure that technology coverage airs diverse perspectives without giving any side more weight than is warranted. If technology reporting continues with the trend we’re seeing toward pessimistic — and in some cases technophobic — critiques, it will likely spur policymakers and the public to support even more unnecessary, unwarranted, or unwise policy interventions.”

That still does not explain why the US tech press has its nose firmly planted in the bottoms of key tech companies, particularly Apple. But then, I am just being negative.

Apple sells out key ally to the Chinese

tim-cook-apple-ceoWhile the New York Times has faithfully acted as Apple’s unpaid press office and sacrificed its credibility as a technology source, it seems that the fruity-cargo cult has sold it out at the first opportunity.

Apple has removed the New York Times news apps from its app store in China following a request from the Chinese authorities.

It purged both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the iTunes store in China just before Christmas.

The request comes as the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s top internet regulatory body, has called for greater media scrutiny, citing fears of social disorder, moral harm and threats to national security.

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Reuters that the request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country.

It has asked Apple to reconsider its decision, after all Apple owes it more than a few favours. Apple claims that the app is in violation of local regulations, so  it does not matter how many glowing reviews the paper writes on the iPhone 7 it is not going to get into China.

The Chinese government has blocked The Times’ websites since 2012 when it actually did it job and ran a series of articles on the wealth amassed by the family of Wen Jiabao, who was then prime minister.

Ironically apps from CNN, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, were still available in the app store.


Rupert Murdoch writes a letter to himself – the iPad is great!

Rupert Murdoch is talking to himself in his old age, telling himself that his paywalls will work and that he has nothing to worry about with an article appearing in News Corp owned The Australian and syndicated in his own Wall Street Journal quoting himself. iPads are the future. iPads are the future. iPads are the future.

In what is essentially a letter to himself and his staff, he said to The Australian that there are already tens of thousands of downloaded apps for The Wall Street Journal, The Times and The Australian on the iPad.  He reckons that bedmates Apple will sell over 40 million iPads by 2012, so there’s a definite market for putting his papers on tablet PCs. Rupes also said he’d be exploring other tablet PCs.

“The argument that information wants to be free is only said by those who want it for free,” Murdoch said of his paywall that recently went live in the UK. However The Digger has put up the rate for the White House to gets its Wall Street Journal subscription to $600,000. Not to do with offsetting lost dosh or anything like that, of course.

Since the iPad’s launch Rupert has made no secret of his love for tablet PCs. He was quoted several months ago saying paid press subcriptions are the way forward compared to Google aggregating and nicking all of his precious news, though in a sense the strict paywall is stopping his UK monopoly from getting his stories to spread virally through social notworking.

Times Tweeters such as columnist Caitlin Moran have microblogged defending the paywall – we’re paraphrasing but to the effect of the great unwashed complaining: “Waah, waah, we can’t get any more free news.”

But Google is trialling a similar service in Italy which has a far more flexible pay option so the Digger may be shaking a fist at ‘Ogle from the Aussie Outback yet.

When the iPad launched in the UK, The Times decided to dedicate half a page splash on page 3 not on the Lahore Mosque attacks at time of print, and not even carrying on its front page lead until pages 8 or 9, but to the iPad’s launch. There was thinly veiled advertising masquerading as copy promising that The Times’ “iPad Edition” would feature “beautiful picture galleries,” “spectacular interactive graphics” and claiming that “in other words, it will be the newspaper, but with even more.”

It then dedicated a double page splash starting page 18, another advert for The Times’ iPad app and a column bylined by Nic Fildes titled “Readers are willing to pay for best news sites,” shamelessly printed just to the right of the app advert.

And so the iPad, applications and News Corp outlets get promotion from one to the other, disguised as copy, in an effort to build up the paywall. News Corp papers are different enough in style for the casual reader to not bat an eyelid, but we have a feeling if James Murdoch wasn’t looking after The Sun on News’ behalf, it would fall over itself to run a man with news empire monopoly in bed with man with technology monopoly shocka.