Media News

The proper way to write a tech review

Walt Mossberg

Famous tech product reviewers Walt Mossberg and Marques Brownlee spoke with his former colleague Kara Swisher about how to properly write product reviews.

Here is an excerpt:

Brownlee: But a Frisbee team I play for uses it to talk to each other, and they were all talking about this certain product, whether they should buy it or not. And I am just chiming in as someone who just happens to have the product and use it. And that’s just how it sort of feels on the internet. Like, “Oh, I have one actually, it’s pretty good. Here’s what I liked about it.” And that’s the sort of thing, people, that’s what trust looks like.

Swisher: Yeah. What about you, Walt? From Joanna.

Mossberg: Well, thank you, Joanna, same thing. Look, there are reviews and there are descriptions. When Apple or any company brings out something new, Google brings out something new, I know that Marques and Joanna and other honest reviewers will say, “This is a first look. This is not a review. I will have my review shortly.” So this is not a review, but on first impressions, whatever, the OLED screen looks good, or don’t buy this version of the OLED screen, whatever. But there are 10,000 people on YouTube for whom there’s no difference between the review and the first look.

They spend an hour or less with something and they publish what they call, they use the word “review.” So when I see that, I immediately don’t trust it. Secondly, affiliate links are, I understand it’s very tough to make money, but I think an affiliate link is an ethical problem. I’m sure there are ways to build walls, but it just looks like an ethical problem to me.

To read more, go here.

Chris Roush

Chris Roush was the dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He was previously Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Professor in business journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a former business journalist for Bloomberg News, Businessweek, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Tampa Tribune and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He is the author of the leading business reporting textbook "Show me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication" and "Thinking Things Over," a biography of former Wall Street Journal editor Vermont Royster.

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