Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This News Story Brought to you by …

This morning on Yahoo! News, a Reuters report about the current patent dispute between Samsung and Ericsson was almost literally plastered over in every imaginable location with advertising for the HP Discover 2012 conference in Frankfurt, Germany. This included a reader poll on the question of whether there were too many gadgets on the market, the sort of thing many readers might have taken to be a more innocuous Yahoo! News poll. The logic seems to be that, while HP in not directly involved in the patent dispute, it may well be trying to make lemonade from the lemons of others. Disturbing as this is, it is probably a harbinger.

Do not be surprised if one morning, in the middle of the hourly news broadcast, the NPR reporter says, "The following report has been sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;" and the story turns out to be about some innovation in health care. The implication would be that the story only "made the cut" because of its financial backing. "All the news that fits" must now worry about who pays for the real estate!

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