In praise of Walt Mossberg
Rich Jaroslovsky writes for The Observer about the influence of tech journalist Walt Mossberg, who turns 70 this week.
Jaroslovsky writes, “Walt brought to tech journalism the same level of fierce integrity that marked his news reporting—as the industry soon learned. An interesting new product would get a respectful review, no matter that it came from a tiny, underfunded startup. On the other hand, executives unhappy with something he’d written quickly discovered he could give as good as he got, and it didn’t matter if the complainer was Bill Gates. (I mean that literally, by the way.)
“Once, it got back to him that a PR firm was boasting to potential clients that it had placed a favorable review in Walt’s column. Emphasizing that the favorable review was based on the merits of the product alone, he demanded the firm write a letter to everyone to whom it had made its claim to retract it.
“The PR firm was apologetic but unwilling to embarrass itself by publicly admitting its puffery. So Walt contacted the company whose product he reviewed, told them what had happened and suggested that under the circumstances, he would be unable to review any of its future products. In short order, the PR guy called. ‘What do you want the letter to say?’ he asked.”
Read more here.