Andrew Adam Newman of The New York Times takes a closer look at the battle between public relations professionals and business journalists that has gone another round after Wired executive editor Chris Anderson banned certain PR e-mails from his account last week.
Newman wrote, “There has long been a ‘love-hate relationship’ between the two professions, said Sheldon Rampton, co-author of ‘Toxic Sludge Is Good For You! Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industr’ and research director of PR Watch, a publication that reports on dubious public relations practices. ‘In a lot of ways P.R. people do the legwork for journalists â€” feeding them stories and sources, and doing research,’ Mr. Rampton said.
“This was not the first public exposÃ© of the hack-flack dynamic in which Wired played a role. In February, Microsoft inadvertently sent to Wired an e-mail with a strategy memo prepared by its public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, in which Fred Vogelstein, a reporter who was writing an article about Microsoft for Wired, was described as ‘tricky’ and apt to sensationalize. Wired gleefully posted the memo to its Web site.
“Mr. Anderson wrote in an e-mail message to The New York Times that the ‘main education for me in reading the comments is how much of this bad behavior (indiscriminate blasting of e-mail lists) is forced on younger P.R. associates, who are given too little time, resources and mentoring.'”
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