Fortune can't decide about Steve Jobs
Erick Schonfeld writes on TechCrunch about the Steve Jobs profile in the latest issue of Fortune magazine and wonders what it says about the publication’s journalism.
Schonfeld wrote, “Once again, Steve Jobs is on the cover of Fortune magazine. He is there because Apple is the most admired company in America. No, wait. He is there because investigative reporter Peter Elkind wrote a 12-page takedown of his Steveness. It turns out both are true. Jobs is steering the most admired company in America and he is a ‘reckless’ CEO whose ‘behavior put the company and its shareholders at risk.’
“I am all for balanced reporting, but which one is it? Not to be completely cynical, but Apple is a big advertiser for many Time Inc. magazines. And I imagine that Jobs would have no compunction about threatening to pull all of Appleâ€™s advertising to kill a story he did not like. And he did not like this story. (He refused to talk to the writer). Pairing the story with another one on the cover that says ‘Apple is No. 1’ does soften the blow. (Jobs had no problem talking to another Fortune writer for that interview, in which he reveals how great he is).
“This isnâ€™t the first business magazine to go negative on Apple. Fast Company laid out what could go wrong with Apple in its December cover story, but at least it focused on strategic and business pitfalls that could take everybodyâ€™s favorite company down. (It wasnâ€™t very convincing either). The Fortune story is more personal about Jobs himself. It digs up a lot of dirt weâ€™ve heard before about Jobsâ€™ personal life, temper tantrums, and family history. You learn for instance that Jobsâ€™ 76-year-old biological father, who put him up for adoption, now ‘works as food and beverage director at the Boomtown Hotel & Casino near Reno.'”
Read more here. Schonfeld used to work at Fortune.Â