Monday, January 14, 2013

Hopping Over CNET

Everything that is written, produced, or created is influenced by the person or team that originates it.  In the press there are many very good people that do their best to report things in a fair and unbiased way, but even in deciding to write one story over another - a judgement has been made.  The order of facts that are presented represent an opportunity for bias.  Good editors and writers are able to make the best decisions on issues like these and give readers the full story.

Part of the identity of any news organization or publication is the types of stories and articles that it chooses to write.  This is a conscious decision on the part of editors and writers.  Readers learn to expect a certain type of story from different sources.  Over time, a website or publication gains a reputation and readers feel they can trust that source for certain types of information.

In the case of CNET, they have spent years developing a reputation for technology news and tech product reviews.  I often found myself reading reviews of products on CNET before making purchasing decisions or before advising friends and family on decisions.  I trusted their reputation as a knowledgeable and fair source of information.

That relationship changed last week.  The CNET editorial staff had voted the Dish Hopper DVR as the best in show product for this year's CES show, but was forced to pick something else because the executive office of CBS (parent company of CNET) decided that they didn't like the choice.  There is an ongoing legal battle between CBS and Dish over this Hopper DVR, but that doesn't mean that CBS should attempt to control the media as a result.  Additionally, CBS forced CNET to go out with a bogus official statement initially that didn't own up to the Hopper winning the vote.

I have been a very longtime reader of CNET, but this has broken the relationship and I don't see them as a trusted source any longer.

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