On an ordinary day, the fact that PC world posted an article titled “10 Things we hate about Apple” really wouldn’t be a big deal. However, there’s a bit more to it than just an ordinary story on an ordinary day.
It’s been an interesting week over at PC World. It all started when their vice-president and editor in chief Harry McCracken said he was resigning after their newly appointed CEO, Colin Crawford refused to publish a story titled “10 Things we Hate about Apple.”
In a nutshell, the story was refused publication (although Colin denies this reason) because Apple is a sponsor -PC World receive advertising dollars from them. Get it? McCracken felt he didn’t have editorial independence, and so he abruptly quit. PC World readers were furious, and rightfully so, and many went as far as cancelling their subscriptions.
What makes this story more interesting is that Crawford was the previous CEO of MacWorld, so it sounds as though his loyalty to Apple took precedence over his role as CEO of PC World to ensure that unbiased reviews and content are provided to their readers.
In the end, PC World ended up publishing the article, but only after blogs poured their attention to it, and readers protested. And ultimately, McCracken decided to return to PC World. While they published it, they said to be fair they’d publish another list, “Ten things we Love about Apple.”
I don’t think PC World had much of a choice once readers found out. They had already received notices to cancel subscriptions, and I’m sure it would have only gotten worse. At first I thought there was more to it and maybe the story was too extreme, but it’s published, and I wouldn’t say it’s anything that would ruffle too many feathers.
I’m sure there’s more to the story that what’s on the surface, but it’s a good lesson learned with the information we do have. Advertisers should not dictate product reviews, but in this case they did. Additionally, don’t break the trust of your loyal readers, they’ll probably turn on you.