Wired ran a piece from Mitch Kapor, on “Ten things I hate about Outlook”. Kapor, as you may know, is currently working on a project called Chandler, which is designed to be a much more freeform and interesting (and useful) organiser than Microsoft’s product. There’s one problem: Mitch specifically asked Wired not to angle his Ten things as an anti-Outlook piece.
This is one of the reasons why print media could be in trouble. All too often, journalists (and I speak as one) have such a fixed idea of the angle that they want to pursue that they will do so, even at the expense of the facts. In the context of a print magazine, this makes a twisted kind of sense: part of the point of print is that the editorial control over it is tight, you are in a sense using your editorial skills to shape the news agenda. A good editor shapes it in such a way as to make the whole more coherent, without undermining the facts.
But that doesn’t mean doing what Wired did, which is to get the angle no matter what. In olden days, journalists could actually get away with this – the feedback loop was closed. However, now, blogging tools mean that not only will you get caught out – millions of people will read all about it, perhaps more people than read the original article. Wired should have known better. [Mitch Kapor’s Weblog]