“There was a great story yesterday by ‘technology writer’ Dan Goodin at the Associated Press, and because it was from the AP, we can read it on several sites,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “What’s great about an AP story like this one is that if you’re only paying attention to the headlines, it creates the impression that there are multiple reports from all over the web corroborating the same point, when in fact it’s just one story, repeated many times over by news publications that regurgitate whatever comes in over the AP wire.”
“Journalism this good deserves a close analysis,” Gruber writes before providing said analysis with gusto.
“With Apple yesterday launching a new television ad campaign that draws specific, pointed attention to the fact that Macs are not besieged by malware — this sort of bogus ‘trend piece’ that purposefully conflates the issues of whether Macs are in theory potentially vulnerable to malware (yes) with whether Macs are in reality under attack (no) is just what the doctor ordered,” Gruber writes.
“If Goodin wanted to be reasonable or accurate, he could have written a story titled ‘Some Guy Double-Clicked a Trojan Horse Virus for Mac OS X but It Didn’t Actually Spread to Anyone Else,’ but what kind of story would that be? OK, it’d be a true story, but it wouldn’t be a good story,” Gruber writes. “No one would have linked to such a story except to make fun of it: What would be the point of making a big stink out of one guy who got hit by a Mac OS X Trojan horse — which was so poorly written that it couldn’t even successfully spread to another computer — when there are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Windows users suffering from malware every single day? What good journalism calls for is taking that one guy, and writing an article that presents his episode as though it were part of a trend of increasing Mac virus attacks. No one is going to make fun of Dan Goodin — or the Associated Press, or the dozens of reputable news outlets that ran the story — for that.”
Full article, highly recommended, here.
MacDailyNews Take: The Mac Web is a better place thanks to John Gruber’s writings.
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