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Author Topic: Impartiality of editorial v. advertising on the Luminous Landscape site  (Read 12321 times)
David Watson
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2011, 04:08:55 AM »
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Quote David Watson

One can argue this point but once LuLa starts accepting advertising then we are in a different ball game and, again IMO, the site does not just need to be impartial it needs to proactively demonstrate impartiality.

Unquote

Two points.

First, why does he NEED to be impartial? It is a very difficult, if not impossible, thing to do. Anyone one who uses a camera system becomes consciously or unconsciously biased towards it. If someone shows a bias then judge for yourself the merits of what is said.
Secondly if there wasn't any advertisements would this automatically mean that there isn't any bias in Michael's statements? The site started out as a way for him to make his opinions heard. Can anyone on here state that they are truly unbiased?  Smiley

This is an interesting point.  Perhaps I can illustrate my own point of view with an analogy.

When most people read the news in a national newspaper they have a reasonable expectation that what they are reading is a fair and accurate representation of the truth.  Whilst we all know that this is sometimes not the case most would argue that it should be.

Web sites like Michael's are really no different to a newspaper in that they are published and have a readership and now accept advertising.  They may have begun as a medium for a proprietor to express a view or an opinion, biased or not, but commercial reality and, some would argue, a duty to the readership rapidly ensures that they try and tell the truth. 

What is the truth as opposed to opinion?  A review on Michael's site should clearly state the features, benefits and shortcomings of a product as a matter of fact and then in addition the writer's opinion.  This enables the reader to make his or her own judgement on the facts and then include the opinion of the writer when weighing up a decision to agree/disagree and/or purchase the item.  What is also expected is that products will be compared, with other similar products in respect of their respective strengths and weaknesses. 

LuLa has become something of an institution in the upper end of the photographic market place and is widely read by a global body of photographers who reasonably expect the information on the site to be fair and accurate and in particular not be skewed in favour of one supplier or another particularly if that supplier is also an advertiser.  IMO if that were to happen that could be construed as misrepresentation.

Now Michael writes very well and 95% of the content has and presumably always will be fair and accurate.  There is one area however where there is a widely perceived bias in Michael's reporting and that is in the area of high end MF systems.  Now why that bias exists and how it came about has been debated extensively and Michael has generously responded by stating that he is happy to address this perception by subjecting the equipment in question to a fair and honest appraisal.

I know that we all look forward to reading this promised review and Michael's, as always, entertaining perspective on the system.  Whatever the perception is or was I do know that Michael will be scrupulously fair in his assessment notwithstanding his preference for the competitors system and their advertising spend on this site.
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David Watson ARPS
stamper
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2011, 04:30:25 AM »
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When most people read the news in a national newspaper they have a reasonable expectation that what they are reading is a fair and accurate representation of the truth.  Whilst we all know that this is sometimes not the case most would argue that it should be.

Unquote

This morning buy half a dozen newspapers and read about the crisis in Egypt and then state which one is telling the "truth"? Getting back to the subject it looks to me that you are are trying to nail down Michael for stating something that is at odds to your own "bias". This isn't personal but we all have a bias? The obvious answer to all of this is to read what Michael states and find another half dozen sites to read and then make up your own mind. I have even read Ken Rockwell's opinions on camera matters - he is entitled to one - in making up my mind. This site is at the top  - imo - when it comes to fair opinions. Cool
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David Watson
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2011, 05:02:24 AM »
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When most people read the news in a national newspaper they have a reasonable expectation that what they are reading is a fair and accurate representation of the truth.  Whilst we all know that this is sometimes not the case most would argue that it should be.

Unquote

This morning buy half a dozen newspapers and read about the crisis in Egypt and then state which one is telling the "truth"? Getting back to the subject it looks to me that you are are trying to nail down Michael for stating something that is at odds to your own "bias". This isn't personal but we all have a bias? The obvious answer to all of this is to read what Michael states and find another half dozen sites to read and then make up your own mind. I have even read Ken Rockwell's opinions on camera matters - he is entitled to one - in making up my mind. This site is at the top  - imo - when it comes to fair opinions. Cool

I didn't say that newspapers always tell the truth but I think most people expect them to at least try.  I do not disagree that we all have a "bias" - BTW the word "preference" works better for me - and I do not disagree that 95% of the content on LuLa is first class.  There is a subtle (or maybe not so subtle) difference between LuLa and a newspaper.  Many articles on this site describe a product and people rely on the information published to make a purchasing decision. 

Whilst I currently have a preference for Hasselblad as a system I can see the features and benefits of Phase One that would make that an attractive choice too.  I am not wedded to my current system and could envisage a time when Phase One would be a better choice for me.  However when and if I make that decision I would like to be able to rely on this site to give me the information and expert opinions to assist with my decision making process.  That means being able to read a review and a comparison of the two systems.  I don't mind at all if Michael expresses a preference for Phase One or that in his opinion it is a better system for him - that is his prerogative. 

I also agree that I could read possibly reviews on other sites but IMHO this site is a much much better than the rest for this sector of the market.
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2011, 08:50:49 AM »
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Yes, personal preferences are unavoidable. One of the strength of this site is its disclosure policy. As long as they disclose relationships/circumstances around tests and reviews - and they have been very good in that respect - readers have the data they need.
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Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2011, 11:02:06 AM »
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But you public spirited guys miss the crucial point: Michael has stated ad nauseam that he does NOT do reviews, that doing so would bore him to death, something with which I can express total empathy.

It is up to the readership to accept that policy - or damn well discover it by doing more reading - and take the site for what it is: the best free lunch you are ever likely to get. Bon appetite.

Rob C
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dmerger
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2011, 11:33:35 AM »
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... take the site for what it is: the best free lunch you are ever likely to get.


Rob, I don’t mean to single you out, but merely to use your quote as a reflection of an idea I’ve read many times in this forum. 

Yes, this web site is free, but so are most news and entertainment programs on TV and radio and most newspapers and magazines via the internet.  My point being that just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s above criticism or expectations of behavior.   
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Dean Erger
David Watson
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2011, 11:36:12 AM »
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Rob, I don’t mean to single you out, but merely to use your quote as a reflection of an idea I’ve read many times in this forum. 

Yes, this web site is free, but so are most news and entertainment programs on TV and radio and most newspapers and magazines via the internet.  My point being that just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s above criticism or expectations of behavior.   


Exactly!
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David Watson ARPS
stamper
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2011, 02:55:07 AM »
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There aren't many sites that would allow posters to criticise the owner, not once - no matter how justified? - but several times, even after the owner has given a detailed explanation of his thinking. A lot of them would have hit the delete button and the posters would have been none the wiser. I think this thread has run it's course? Smiley
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2011, 03:13:49 AM »
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Rob, I don’t mean to single you out, but merely to use your quote as a reflection of an idea I’ve read many times in this forum.  

Yes, this web site is free, but so are most news and entertainment programs on TV and radio and most newspapers and magazines via the internet.  My point being that just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s above criticism or expectations of behavior.    



But it is free, and so I do believe that it is also free to appear in exactly the manner its owner(s) elect for it. None of us has paid a price of admission nor of purchase to read or write here. Criticism? We can all vote with our feet - as stamper suggests, we have a pretty tolerant host and to imply, however gently, that he might care to alter his thinking is not something with which I feel I can agree. Certainly not something I'd lose sleep about, though; I think Big Daddy is perfectly capable of looking after himself!

;-)

Rob C
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David Watson
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« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2011, 03:21:13 AM »
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There aren't many sites that would allow posters to criticise the owner, not once - no matter how justified? - but several times, even after the owner has given a detailed explanation of his thinking. A lot of them would have hit the delete button and the posters would have been none the wiser. I think this thread has run it's course? Smiley

I don't think we have been criticising Michael at all really in fact I for one have taken great pains to praise the many good things that he has done.  If anything all that has been asked for is the correction of an ommission which has resulted in a perception of bias.  Something that Michael has confirmed he is happy to do.

But I agree that the argument has run its course save for one small point. 

Yes access to this forum is apparently free but not in reality.  It is no more free than a free sheet newspaper or an advertising bill board.  The payment is indirectly made by giving access to a group of customers through sponsorship and advertising.  There are no free lunches anymore.
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David Watson ARPS
dmerger
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2011, 08:56:52 AM »
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Criticism? We can all vote with our feet -
Rob C

Rob, does your rationale apply equally to all other free media or do you believe that this web site is somehow exempt from the norm?
 
What you seem to be suggesting is so far out of the normal expectation in a free society that I wonder if perhaps I do not understand your position.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2011, 11:10:30 AM »
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As a regular reader of this forum and many other sites (which I register for BTW), I receive many e-mails about the products that I view and inquire about. I receive e-mail promotions from MFDB manufacturers and browse the on-line adds. I have never received a response from Hasselblad or a "spam-vertising" from them.

I'd suggest that the ball is in their court regarding placement of promotions and reviews.
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Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2011, 01:06:02 PM »
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Rob, does your rationale apply equally to all other free media or do you believe that this web site is somehow exempt from the norm?
 
What you seem to be suggesting is so far out of the normal expectation in a free society that I wonder if perhaps I do not understand your position.




I don't know what your 'norm' is.

My stance, more or less, is that whoever owns this site is free to do with it as he pleases. Period.

It strikes me that 'society' holds a large vocal group very good at sticking its nose into other people's business. It has been doing that for centuries, and I fail to see the benefits beyond just more of the individual's control over his domain being stolen from under his nose. I suppose an extension of your positiion concerning 'free society' may be that squatters are within their rights to take someone's home. I'd shoot the mothers, no questions asked and no quarter given. Same for Mr Bloody Wikileaks: a major threat to the order of life and the 'norm' of diplomatic behaviour, the necessity for which everybody understands and uses in their daily private life too. You can't survive without it.

As for other freebies, I avoid them; I'm willing to buy something if I need it and can afford it. This site is an exception to the freebie rule and I hope it stays that way.

I pee on the interfering busybodies that assume the representation of a society and claim to speak on its behalf. We've had them wring their knickers in dismay over Eva Herzigova saying 'hello, boys' and on and on ever since, right to today where they are trying to put their stamp of control on all advertising.

;-)

Rob C
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David Watson
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« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2011, 01:32:11 PM »
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I don't know what your 'norm' is.

My stance, more or less, is that whoever owns this site is free to do with it as he pleases. Period.

It strikes me that 'society' holds a large vocal group very good at sticking its nose into other people's business. It has been doing that for centuries, and I fail to see the benefits beyond just more of the individual's control over his domain being stolen from under his nose. I suppose an extension of your positiion concerning 'free society' may be that squatters are within their rights to take someone's home. I'd shoot the mothers, no questions asked and no quarter given. Same for Mr Bloody Wikileaks: a major threat to the order of life and the 'norm' of diplomatic behaviour, the necessity for which everybody understands and uses in their daily private life too. You can't survive without it.

As for other freebies, I avoid them; I'm willing to buy something if I need it and can afford it. This site is an exception to the freebie rule and I hope it stays that way.

I pee on the interfering busybodies that assume the representation of a society and claim to speak on its behalf. We've had them wring their knickers in dismay over Eva Herzigova saying 'hello, boys' and on and on ever since, right to today where they are trying to put their stamp of control on all advertising.

;-)

Rob C

Hi Rob

Always entertained by your quite frankly bizarre but strangely often entirely correct perspective on how life should be.  Sadly that isn't how it is and you are not the "norm" and the "norm" has to be protected against those who are cleverer, stronger, more ruthless, richer, and finally have ideologically different perspectives.  This does mean, I regret, that some "busybodies will inadvertently poke their nose in your business.

We have wandered a long way off the thread here but I would just like to disabuse you of one fallacy in your argument.  There are no and never were any freebies anywhere.  There is always a price.  In the case of a free to air medium like this web site it is the willingness to be influenced by the opinions expressed here which, the sponsors hope, will direct your attention to their product rather than the other. 

Keep the good stuff coming.

David
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« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2011, 02:32:44 PM »
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Web sites like Michael's are really no different to a newspaper in that they are published and have a readership and now accept advertising.  They may have begun as a medium for a proprietor to express a view or an opinion, biased or not, but commercial reality and, some would argue, a duty to the readership rapidly ensures that they try and tell the truth. 

Not all media is created equal. You think LuLa is like a newspaper? I don't...I see it more as a special interest magazine providing information, not news–although some info may be "newsworthy". There is a big difference between a reporter reporting the news and a writer writing a magazine article

A news story does indeed need to be a factual and accurate report (or should be). A magazine article doesn't have the same sort of strict journalistic requirements. An article is much more like an editorial. Pretty much all of the articles posted on LuLa are combinations of information and opinions. Only rarely does LuLa actually report news such as events that may happen at trade shows. And, as far as I know, nobody has ever accuse LuLa of misreporting the news.

Knowing the principals of LuLa, I'm very sure that advertising that may be placed on LuLa will have no sway on the opinions of the authors of articles nor the editorial direction. While some people may not be able to believe that, time will tell the story.
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tokengirl
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« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2011, 03:01:07 PM »
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My stance, more or less, is that whoever owns this site is free to do with it as he pleases. Period.


Amen, brother!
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David Watson
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« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2011, 03:21:42 PM »
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Not all media is created equal. You think LuLa is like a newspaper? I don't...I see it more as a special interest magazine providing information, not news–although some info may be "newsworthy". There is a big difference between a reporter reporting the news and a writer writing a magazine article

A news story does indeed need to be a factual and accurate report (or should be). A magazine article doesn't have the same sort of strict journalistic requirements. An article is much more like an editorial. Pretty much all of the articles posted on LuLa are combinations of information and opinions. Only rarely does LuLa actually report news such as events that may happen at trade shows. And, as far as I know, nobody has ever accuse LuLa of misreporting the news.

Knowing the principals of LuLa, I'm very sure that advertising that may be placed on LuLa will have no sway on the opinions of the authors of articles nor the editorial direction. While some people may not be able to believe that, time will tell the story.

You are quite correct LuLa is not a newspaper but it is a medium for communicating information which people rely on when making decisions about what or not to buy.  Where that information is incomplete or biased then it is not information it is misinformation - some would say propaganda.  Furthermore once a medium accepts paid for advertising it is not enough to simply say that advertising will not sway opinions it has to be proactively demonstrated by being open to opinions and facts that may not sit comfortably with the preferences of the principals.






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« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2011, 03:22:51 PM »
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Amen, brother!

Where do you draw the line?
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2011, 05:27:52 PM »
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Where do you draw the line?
Is anybody forcing you to visit Michael's site?

I am totally with Rob C and Tokengirl on this: "My stance, more or less, is that whoever owns this site is free to do with it as he pleases. Period."

Eric
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« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2011, 05:45:58 PM »
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Where that information is incomplete or biased then it is not information it is misinformation - some would say propaganda.

Well, at least you now accept that LuLa doesn't have to behave like a newspaper...the problem I see is you have an agenda about your perception that Mike is anti-Hasselblad which actually I dispute. Mike would LOVE to love Hasselblad in fact used to love Hasselblad until Christian Poulsen decided to close the system.

I'm still pissed that Hasselblad closed their system because about that same time, Imacon/Hasselblad also quit supporting DNG as an option in their backs. They HAD it in the backs and a firmware update removed DNG as an option...they "claimed" it was because DNG was deficient even though they never even tried to talk to Thomas Knoll about support for their lens data inside of DNG–which of course, DNG can now support but Hasselblad has not returned to offer DNG as an option.

So far, other than getting rid of Christian, Hasselblad hasn't changed. Which is why Mike bought a Phase One and so did I. What, you want us to NOT use our equipment? Should Mike NOT write about Phase One?

You saw Mike's response up–thread. What part of that don't you understand or believe?
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