Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Jun 2012 09:50 UTC
Microsoft I'm very thankful for Danny Sullivan writing this article, because it touches upon a subject I've increasingly been frustrated with: the inflation of the term 'hands-on'. Hands-on used to mean that a journalist, blogger, or reviewer got to properly use a device to get some sort of first impression, usually guided by some words from the manufacturer. These days, however, it seems as if even merely getting a glance at a device is regarded as a 'hands-on'.
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Every journalist at that event should be ashamed of themselves. At no point did anybody announce "what is this bullcrap?" and walk past the rope and lay hands on the product on show. [SNIP] ...these 'journalists' should be counted as nothing better than guerilla marketeers.

The error in your logic is that you seem to think that these 'journalists' were something more than guerilla marketeers... There weren't and never have been.

I'm sorry but someone who reviews or otherwise writes about a product that is only accessible to them by the good graces of the manufacturer is in point of fact not a journalist - they are either one of two things:

1. A willing extension of the marketing department of the manufacturer, in which case they will almost invariably write a favorable or at the least neutral piece on the product

2. Taking advantage of a position of power with a weaker manufacture seeking exposure, in which case they will tend to write more honest pieces when it suits their own needs.

Neither of these things constitutes journalism. Pre-release product reviews are marketing - plain and simple. The Microsofts and Apples of the world hold all the cards until the product is released. Afterwards it is fair game, but everything before that is just foreplay.

It is impossible to have anything like journalistic integrity when the people paying your bills are the same people making the products you are judging, and the only way to get access to the products is to make them happy...

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