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Apple Shuns The New York Times in OS X Mountain Lion Coverage Over Foxconn Reporting

With yesterday's announcements from Apple regarding its forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system, a number of media outlets had been provided with advance briefings and early copies of the software for the purposes of having reviews prepared and ready to go. When Apple published its press release and went live with OS X Mountain Lion information at 8:30 AM Eastern yesterday, the embargo was lifted and all of the pre-briefed publications immediately posted their stories on the topic.

But one publication with a long track record of receiving favored access from Apple was missing from that group: The New York Times. An article from the Times' David Pogue was published about five hours after Apple's announcement, and it did not appear to include any specific details suggesting that he had received advance notice of the release.

As reported by The Washington Post, Apple apparently shunned The New York Times over the newspaper's "iEconomy" series of articles that has focused in large part on working conditions in Foxconn's manufacturing plants in China.
Says a source at the Times: “They are playing access journalism...I’ve heard it from people inside Apple: They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series.”

The on-the-record word from the New York Times differs only slightly from the not-for-attribution word: “We’re never happy with our access to Apple. We never have been. Apple is a difficult company to report on,” says Damon Darlin, the paper’s tech editor.
A decision by Apple to cut off access for a publication presenting the company in a less-than-favorable light should certainly be no surprise to longtime Apple watchers, and the technique is not an unusual one in business as companies constantly seek to ensure the most positive coverage possible. But as The Washington Post notes, the Times may be more than happy to lose some access to Apple in exchange for its ability to publish high-profile investigative reports such as its iEconomy series.

Update: David Pogue did report on Twitter yesterday that he had been "running Mac OS X Mountain Lion for a week", so it is unclear exactly why his report was not ready to go when the embargo lifted and why his article did not offer any mention of a pre-briefing session as a number of the articles from other publications did.

Update 2: John Gruber reports that David Pogue was indeed present for a pre-briefing with Apple.
When I left my briefing with Schiller last Wednesday in New York, waiting in the hallway for the next briefing was: David Pogue.

Top Rated Comments

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33 months ago
If Apple really had nothing to hide and truly "care[d] about every worker in its supply chain," then they wouldn't need to do crap like this. They could let the facts speak for themselves.

Rating: 39 Votes
33 months ago
NYT is playing sensationalist reporting, making Foxconn problem appear to be an Apple exclusive problem.

The NYT article title "In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad" says it all.
Rating: 37 Votes
33 months ago
Someone still reads the NYT?

No worry. It won't be around much longer by the graph of sales and readership.
Rating: 33 Votes
33 months ago
I would expect (or at least hope) that the NY Times is utterly unphased by this.

Covering tech products like Apple's is ultimately fluff. It's fun to cover and reader enjoys it, but ultimately you're just one of thousands of publications helping to sell gadgets to people who like gadgets.

Covering working conditions in the developing world, on the other hand, is important stuff. If the big guys like the NY Times don't cover it, hardly anyone will know about it. (And in a democratic socierty, it's only when hidden under the veil of ignorance that inhumane practices can continue.)
Rating: 28 Votes
33 months ago

Someone still reads the NYT?

No worry. It won't be around much longer by the graph of sales and readership.

Are you kidding? The NYT is one of the finest English language papers in the world. Any suggestion they won't be around for much longer is nothing short of ludicrous.

Out of curiosity, what paper (or similar source of news) would you suggest rivals the Times? While there's plenty of other solid papers in terms of reporting, I have yet to find one that matches or rivals the quality of the writing in the Times.

And while the article on Foxconn may have taken some things out of context, I found that their previous article on why Apple can't/doesn't manufacture in the US incredibly enlightening.
Rating: 23 Votes
33 months ago
Of course David Pogue tweeted that he had been running it for over a week which makes this whole article moot.
Rating: 23 Votes
33 months ago

NYT is playing sensationalist reporting, making Foxconn problem appear to be an Apple exclusive problem.

My feelings exactly.
Rating: 22 Votes
33 months ago
Just another little addition to the growing number of reasons why I'm really starting to dislike Apple these days.

I loved them more as the underdog, the alternative, the rebels. Now, as the biggest company in the world, they're starting to exhibits some of the bad traits of monster corporations.

I still love my macs, all with Snow Leopard - which looks like it will end up being the last 'adult' OS Apple ever released, now that they're dumbing down (and perhaps soon locking down) osX to be a clone of the 'kiddie' ios.
Rating: 19 Votes
33 months ago
This article is all hear-say.

Not to mention, even if it were true its not surprising. Everyone blames Apple for FOXCONN's conditions (which according to some of the watch groups, are not nearly as bad as people are trying to make them out to be.)

I never see anyone blaming Sony for using conflict minerals and thats a lot more of an issue than tedium at Foxconn.
Rating: 18 Votes
33 months ago
Unfortunately that access tactic is pretty standard. It's like if your friends say bad things about you - you aren't exactly going to be friends anymore.
Rating: 17 Votes

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