Mar 30 2009

Reporters don’t need to write a news story — TrustPort will gladly write it for them

Any wonder why a lazy media spreads computer security hysteria?
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TrustPort, Inc. marketing wonk David Stansfield has done a simple thing for the computer news industry. He recently filed a press release disguised as a news story.

This definitely isn’t the first time a computer security firm has shrouded their self-propaganda with media prose. Rather, it’s just the latest effort. Veiled press releases like this enhance a lazy media’s role in spreading computer security hysteria.

A lazy reporter can meet his news quota just by slapping his byline on Trust­Port’s press release

“But Rob,” you interject. “Stansfield wrote a rather milquetoast press release.” Please, folks: don’t lull yourself into complacency. Computer security vendors have written a lot of hysterical content for the press over the years. Heck, McAfee antivirus founder John McAfee ran an atomic PR machine in the late 1980s that quite literally prostituted him to anyone with press credentials.

So if you write for a newswire and it’s a slow news day — or better yet, if you blog for a computer magazine and need fresh content — then you should check out Stansfield’s prose. Just slap your byline on it and poof, you’ve met your daily news quota!

Just to be safe, though, you should take a cue from VNUNET correspondent James Middleton. He once inserted one self-written sentence in a press release just to make sure no one could accuse him of plagiarism when he slapped his byline on it. You’d do well to follow his lead…