Apple Shuns The New York Times in OS X Mountain Lion Coverage Over Foxconn Reporting

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With yesterday's announcements from Apple regarding its forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system, a number of media outlets had been provided with advance briefings and early copies of the software for the purposes of having reviews prepared and ready to go. When Apple published its press release and went live with OS X Mountain Lion information at 8:30 AM Eastern yesterday, the embargo was lifted and all of the pre-briefed publications immediately posted their stories on the topic.

But one publication with a long track record of receiving favored access from Apple was missing from that group: The New York Times. An article from the Times' David Pogue was published about five hours after Apple's announcement, and it did not appear to include any specific details suggesting that he had received advance notice of the release.




As reported by The Washington Post, Apple apparently shunned The New York Times over the newspaper's "iEconomy" series of articles that has focused in large part on working conditions in Foxconn's manufacturing plants in China.
Says a source at the Times: "They are playing access journalism...I've heard it from people inside Apple: They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series."

The on-the-record word from the New York Times differs only slightly from the not-for-attribution word: "We're never happy with our access to Apple. We never have been. Apple is a difficult company to report on," says Damon Darlin, the paper's tech editor.
A decision by Apple to cut off access for a publication presenting the company in a less-than-favorable light should certainly be no surprise to longtime Apple watchers, and the technique is not an unusual one in business as companies constantly seek to ensure the most positive coverage possible. But as The Washington Post notes, the Times may be more than happy to lose some access to Apple in exchange for its ability to publish high-profile investigative reports such as its iEconomy series.

Update: David Pogue did report on Twitter yesterday that he had been "running Mac OS X Mountain Lion for a week", so it is unclear exactly why his report was not ready to go when the embargo lifted and why his article did not offer any mention of a pre-briefing session as a number of the articles from other publications did.

Update 2: John Gruber reports that David Pogue was indeed present for a pre-briefing with Apple.
When I left my briefing with Schiller last Wednesday in New York, waiting in the hallway for the next briefing was: David Pogue.
Article Link: Apple Shuns The New York Times in OS X Mountain Lion Coverage Over Foxconn Reporting
 

Lesser Evets

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Someone still reads the NYT?

No worry. It won't be around much longer by the graph of sales and readership.
 

dagamer34

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More importantly, do you only get special access if you print only positive stories? Sounds like pure advertising to me at that point.
 

lifeinhd

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If Apple really had nothing to hide and truly "care[d] about every worker in its supply chain," then they wouldn't need to do crap like this. They could let the facts speak for themselves.

:rolleyes:
 

Consultant

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NYT is playing sensationalist reporting, making Foxconn problem appear to be an Apple exclusive problem.

The NYT article title "In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad" says it all.
 

cheezmo

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Pogue tweeted he has been running it for over a week.

Of course David Pogue tweeted that he had been running it for over a week which makes this whole article moot.
 

Darkwater

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Hmm. David said on a FB update yesterday he'd been "playing with Mountain Lion for a week" - so it seems this article is specifically referring to the lifting of the embargo, versus the NYT having advance access - which could have simply been a communications mix up more than anything.
 

mdriftmeyer

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Good to hear

I don't care what journalist outfit you represent, there is no guarantee your actions will keep you in the loop of any corporation's upcoming product sneak peaks.

I will be impressed when the Times or any other highly respected publication actually hires technical journalists with the background to really grasp what they write about.

Pogue is not that man.
 

chrono1081

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This article is all hear-say.

Not to mention, even if it were true its not surprising. Everyone blames Apple for FOXCONN's conditions (which according to some of the watch groups, are not nearly as bad as people are trying to make them out to be.)

I never see anyone blaming Sony for using conflict minerals and thats a lot more of an issue than tedium at Foxconn.
 
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Mac21ND

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Unfortunately that access tactic is pretty standard. It's like if your friends say bad things about you - you aren't exactly going to be friends anymore.
 

iSee

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I would expect (or at least hope) that the NY Times is utterly unphased by this.

Covering tech products like Apple's is ultimately fluff. It's fun to cover and reader enjoys it, but ultimately you're just one of thousands of publications helping to sell gadgets to people who like gadgets.

Covering working conditions in the developing world, on the other hand, is important stuff. If the big guys like the NY Times don't cover it, hardly anyone will know about it. (And in a democratic socierty, it's only when hidden under the veil of ignorance that inhumane practices can continue.)
 

robeddie

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Just another little addition to the growing number of reasons why I'm really starting to dislike Apple these days.

I loved them more as the underdog, the alternative, the rebels. Now, as the biggest company in the world, they're starting to exhibits some of the bad traits of monster corporations.

I still love my macs, all with Snow Leopard - which looks like it will end up being the last 'adult' OS Apple ever released, now that they're dumbing down (and perhaps soon locking down) osX to be a clone of the 'kiddie' ios.
 

Amazing Iceman

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If all newspapers read the same, there would be nothing interesting to read. Someone got to print something different, create diversion, anything that would attract readers.
The NYT is becoming the new National Enquirer or Star.
Keep on the lookout for U.F.O. Sightings headlines in the upcoming issues.
And a pic of Elvis with an iPad 3 (Holding it the right way). :D
 

Trekkie

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I would be much more 'shame on apple' if NYTimes had actually included everyone that uses Foxconn instead of singling out Apple because they're the hot computer company today.

HP, IBM, Toshiba, Samsung, many others all use them. There are garments made in China that make the Foxconn factory look like a paradise. I've railed against the conditions for years but no one cares, except Apple's been 'too successful' so now they're to blame, when in fact they're actually raising the standard of living there.

It was sensationalism journalism at the expense of Apple's success, so good on them. The NYTimes was as trolltastic as Gizmodo.
 

rnizlek

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Someone still reads the NYT?

No worry. It won't be around much longer by the graph of sales and readership.
Are you kidding? The NYT is one of the finest English language papers in the world. Any suggestion they won't be around for much longer is nothing short of ludicrous.

Out of curiosity, what paper (or similar source of news) would you suggest rivals the Times? While there's plenty of other solid papers in terms of reporting, I have yet to find one that matches or rivals the quality of the writing in the Times.

And while the article on Foxconn may have taken some things out of context, I found that their previous article on why Apple can't/doesn't manufacture in the US incredibly enlightening.
 

RogueWarrior65

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Screw the NYT

The NYT has a decidedly anti-capitalist bias in its business reporting. Time and time again they spew forth stories about how horrible being one of Apple's vendors is with at-best spotty research (when they do research). The NYT likes to think it has the ability to change the world to suit its own warped ideology. Hell, they publish Paul Krugman's delusional ravings. The mainstream media doesn't give a damn about publishing positive stories. They prefer to publish doom and gloom and if they can't find doom and gloom, they will invent doom and gloom.

Apple long ago abandoned traditional outlets to inform the public about their products because they didn't want the media to control the message. Macworld was the most prominent example. Why should Apple wait an entire year to announce a new product? Now they can do it whenever they want. Apple realized that they couldn't leave product promotion in the hands of Joe Blow's computer store because Joe Blow either didn't care or was a Microsoft disciple. Now, Apple stores are constantly packed with people.

This is nothing more than sour grapes for the NYT.
 

alent1234

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More importantly, do you only get special access if you print only positive stories? Sounds like pure advertising to me at that point.
everyone pays chinese workers very little but the NY Times seemed to only talk about Apple

i work 5 minutes away from their building in NYC and i bet if i hung around with my iphone i would see plenty of low paid people in worse working conditions than the people that build iphone. and they would be working for the NY Times in some capacity
 

a.gomez

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NYT does not need to care what an electronics company thinks of them.

Only someone who does not read the NYTimes would think that a tech story about a computer OS would be important - within the scope of what the NYT reports on - it is irrelevant.
 

dethmaShine

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I would expect (or at least hope) that the NY Times is utterly unphased by this.

Covering tech products like Apple's is ultimately fluff. It's fun to cover and reader enjoys it, but ultimately you're just one of thousands of publications helping to sell gadgets to people who like gadgets.

Covering working conditions in the developing world, on the other hand, is important stuff. If the big guys like the NY Times don't cover it, hardly anyone will know about it. (And in a democratic socierty, it's only when hidden under the veil of ignorance that inhumane practices can continue.)
I agree but you might wanna read the article again. It's not about 'just writing about Foxconn'; 'It's about criticising and blaming Apple for whatever's happening at Foxconn and blaming wrongly'.
 

kingtj

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Yep! This!

Apple has thrown bones to the NYT for *years* now, to the point where I ignore all of their new Apple product reviews, assuming they'll read like a list of corporate line-items with a guaranteed positive take on it.

I like Apple's products as much as anyone, but if I take the time to read a product review, I want an honest and in-depth explanation; not another candy-coated rundown of the basics.

Right now, to get good technical reviews, you still have to go to the websites specializing in computers and tech. The mainstream news outlets cater to the majority who they don't want to overwhelm with too much technical info.


I don't care what journalist outfit you represent, there is no guarantee your actions will keep you in the loop of any corporation's upcoming product sneak peaks.

I will be impressed when the Times or any other highly respected publication actually hires technical journalists with the background to really grasp what they write about.

Pogue is not that man.
 

trainwrecka

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I don't blame them. Write an unfair article (focus only on 1 company Foxconn works with because it will get more hits), twist facts (it was an Foxconn Xbox employee - not Apple), and this is what happens.


UPDATE:
Update: David Pogue did report on Twitter yesterday that he had been "running Mac OS X Mountain Lion for a week", so it is unclear exactly why his report was not ready to go when the embargo lifted and why his article did not offer any mention of a pre-briefing session as a number of the articles from other publications did.
What a fail. I think the article title needs to be changed.