Apple as Editorial Overlord

The Columbia Journalismi review speaks plainly about Apple's insistence on editorial control of its iPad apps:

Look, let's face it. The iPad is the most exciting opportunity for the media in many years. But if the press is ceding gatekeeper status, even if it's only nominally, over its speech, then it is making a dangerous mistake. Unless Apple explicitly gives the press complete control over its ability to publish what it sees fit, the news media needs to yank its apps in protest.

Yes, this is that serious. It needs to wrest back control of its speech from Apple Inc.

More like this

So, on my iPod touch (I don't have an iPad) I've got a "Rachel Maddow" app. It plays Rachel Maddow show episodes. Does this mean that if Rachel saids omething apple did not like, that they could just edit that bit out, or turn off her app for a period of time? Or does it mean they can decide which outlets get apps? Or what?

Oh, maybe I should just go read the article.

OK, I went and looked. It's at the app/outlet level.

The simple answer to this is: Tough shit, news outlets. If you wanted to maintain your own way of communicating with the outside world (and this goes to publishers of ALL kinds) you should have been supporting open source vs proprietary models all along, and actually thinking and acting intelligently instead of pretending that all you had to do was exist to have the right to.... well, continue existing.

Apple is a private company that makes a privately distributed product that does stuff (and does not to stuff) that they have the right to do.

Similarly, has a thing called The Kindle, and Sony has their thing, and they can put whatever news outlets or publishers or whatever they want, and exclude what they want.

So, no complaining please.

... or ...

One could recognize the simple fact that things like, major computer system manufacturers (like Apple) etc., while they started out as private companies, have become public goods and need to be socialized or we are all doomed. Like we socialized the roads, he armies, the fire depts., etc.. See this for the argument:…

The news is that Ryan Chittum is apparently a knee-jerk who's quite evidently aiming for a job at one of the supermarket tabloids when he graduates.

The truth is that if the media can find a profitable way to use the iPad, they'll bend. it's that simple.

yes, it's a closed system, and it's theirs, so there.


There is this icon on all the iThings named "Safari". I can surf anywhere on the Internet with it. Apple put this alert box about Adult Content up before allowing you to install alternate browsers but do not put up that alert for their own browser which serves exactly the same content. It allows the newspapers to put whatever they like on their own sites and I can go there with my iThing and see all of it.

So what exactly are they complaining about again?

By Gray Gaffer (not verified) on 16 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wut? Like this is new news? Companies have been writing press pieces for years now. They've been punishing client companies for not toeing the company line for years. They've been giving reviewers and djs baksheesh for years. Apple is hardly the only company that does this, nor is it the worst or even the first.
Apple probably realizes that in the end its not in ITS best interest to censor large news outlets if they don't drink the kool-aid. If USNEWS withdraws their app, the ipad looses attractiveness to people who read newspapers.
I don't know if it's because news companies are owned by giant corporations and there's some sort of PR sympathy that happens between them or what, but the US news media needs to grow a pair and stop printing whatever press releases companies hand them and to realize they don't need to play "Mother May I" with device manufacturers like Apple.

By rokujolady (not verified) on 16 Apr 2010 #permalink

those things can work wonders in indonesia! they can get you out of almost any situation! where you had to bribe your way through piles of money, once you start giving out these things you walk out of anywhere without paying a dime!

but god help you if you come in without âem the next year!