PC World magazine Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken resigned this week, claiming new CEO Colin Crawford tried to kill a story that was critical of Apple and Steve Jobs. Crawford reportedly also told editors they needed to be nicer to advertisers and write less critical reviews.
It’s hardly shocking that a publisher tried to heavy editors into playing nice with advertisers – that happens all the time.
Advertisers want favourable editorial, sure, but they also want to advertise in publications with loyal readers in valuable target markets. Readers only stay loyal if they believe the editors make independent and critical judgments free of commercial motives. Otherwise they could just read the corporate gumf. But publishers are remarkably thick-headed when it comes understanding this idea.
The real news is that a journalist quit over this principle rather than doing what he was told.
Not that it’ll make any difference. McCracken will no doubt be replaced by someone who has fewer principles, or different ones.