Rodney Gedda's piece of the Web

One hat at a time please


By now most people in the media, particularly the IT media, have heard of Graeme Philipson’s roasting by Media Watch for a shameless self promotion this time last week.

I too witnessed the exposition and, to be honest, could hardly contain my tears of laughter. Before you hate me for laughing at someone else’s misfortune, some background.

Quite a few Moons ago Graeme Philipson was the editor of a publication very dear to my heart. He’s very experienced, very talented, and has done a reasonable job of breaking the hack shackles to diversify his interests to include research and consulting services. Oh, and did I mention he’s a blast to share a drink with at media parties?

So when I see and Old Fart (Recognition trivia night thing) like Graeme get a slap over the wrist for giving his own market research services company a plug without declaring his vested interest it’s OK for me to have a chuckle. I think Graeme may have chuckled a little himself at getting caught.

Here’s the transcript of the cash register.

As far as I’m concerned it’s totally unacceptable for a journalist to have a vested interest on the side, and, even worse, for some vendor to masquerade as a journalist.

I strongly believe in wearing one hat at a time thank you very much. And this “conflict of interest” behaviour is not just confined to journalists. I know of quite a few people who paint themselves as ‘objective’ industry analysts or ‘members’ of interest groups and just happen to have their company details contained within (albeit at the end) of any written material aimed at generating publicity.

Of course, it may be possible to OWN two hats but WEAR one at a time, but this requires a little diligence on the part of the model. In all honesty even if Graeme had mentioned his interest at the end of the article would it really make a difference? I think any discerning reader would immediately scoff at the article’s objectivity – and Graeme’s too.

And yes, that link to Graeme Philipson under “Hacks” is the man in question. It was placed there well before any of this happened.

Graeme, awaits your thoughts.



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