Want to know how trade journalism works? Read this.

Michael S. Malone writes an excellent piece both about the way that trade journalism and PR work, and on the Think Secret cases in Apple Springs a Leak. I particularly enjoyed this bit:

Belying, or perhaps in congruence with, its revolutionary image, Apple has always been the most totalitarian of computer companies — far better epitomizing its legendary Mac Big Brother commercial than the IBM it targeted. It is the North Korea of the high tech world, forever willing to forgo even greater success to keep a tight grip on the throat of its market base. And like all totalitarian institutions, its true believers are as much in love with the idea of Apple as the messy reality of the actual company. As long as Apple keeps producing cool products — and indeed, it makes very cool products — the Macolytes will ignore (or worse, justify) the worst kind of behavior from the company and its Beloved Leader.

Very, very true.

  • http://www.adam.tinworth.name Adam

    Given your professional experience of this, how much of this do you think is down to Apple’s corporate culture and how much of it is down to Jobs personally (as far as these things can be seperated)?

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    I’d say it’s 99% down to Jobs personally. One thing that shines through every book about Jobs and Apple is that Jobs is a complete control freak, who’s liable to push his nose in to every fine detail, and I think that he is extremely frustrated when he can’t manage every aspect of Apple’s public image and marketing too.

  • http://www.adam.tinworth.name Adam

    So, presumably, Apple wasn’t this bad prior to Jobs’ return?

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    Apple’s never been all that great in its relations with the press. However, post-Jobs, it’s become much, much more obsessed with secrecy at any price.