I don't remember a golden age of journalism, but rumor has it that once upon a time journalists did not merely parrot press releases and insider leaks.
Now journalists are suffering from the twin demons of a defunct business model and a super-powered reader feedback loop. I don't applaud the end of journalism's business model, but I heartily approved of the feedback loop.
A widely read blog like Daring Fireball is to the old-fashioned letters page as a flame thrower is to a match. That's a massive change, and it has to affect how journalists do their business.
Today DF demonstrates the new world by rending a poorly written "Fast Company" cover article into nanosocopic bits of confetti...
...Except for all the music from any store that sells DRM-free music, like Amazon’s or eMusic’s. Otherwise what’s being argued here is that Apple should support Microsoft’s DRM platform, formerly known as PlaysForSure, recently renamed to “Certified for Windows Vista”, which Microsoft itself doesn’t support in its own Zune players. There’s a lot of stupid packed into the above 13-word sentence...
DF is piling on, but this poor journalist wrote a cover story comprised of an extraordinary set of factually incorrect and incoherent assertions. This kind of thing does deserve the DF flamethrower.
I hope both Fast Company and the misguided author will learn something from the experience. Feedback need not be painless to be valuable.
(BTW, I think one could write an interesting story about Apple's ongoing quality issues and some of their errors-of-arrogance -- like the oddly incompatible iPhone headphone plug. Alas, that one's for another day...)