Re: It's in print, so it must be true...


Sharon Lynne Fisher (well!slf@lll-lcc.llnl.gov)
15 Sep 88 05:13:24 GMT


I'm the Networking editor for InfoWorld, and I'm glad somebody told me about
this discussion so I could participate. (I haven't visited this newsgroup
in a while, because I've been too busy.)

In answer to some questions:

yes, Network World is a spinoff of Computerworld. Forget the editor's name;
he's new.

Regarding some of the things that have been said, I'm sorry to say
that some are true. Kent England's description -- we make enough phone calls
to verify the press release and rewrite it -- is true more often than I'd
like to admit. (Oh, by the way -- InfoWorld is a sister publication of
Computerworld and Network World; we focus on the PC end of things.) And
yes, reporters sometimes make mistakes; editors sometimes do too -- I can't
tell you how many times a copy editor has pointed to V.22 bis in a story and
said, "Is this right?"

Regarding the InfoWorld article on black holes that somebody was laughing
at -- I was on vacation that week, and the person in charge of the section
that week found himself with a rather sizable hole on the page late on the day
it was supposed to go to the printer. (We ship pages every day, and most
people have deadlines every day. I've had weeks where I've written 14 stories.)
Anyway, he researched and wrote that story in less than an hour. Of course,
it looks it. But sometimes these things happen. I'm not trying to justify
errors; just letting you know the background.

Yes, most of the people I know in weekly computer journalism have journalist
backgrounds. Reporters are paid $20,000-$30,000 per year. This is riches
compared to what newspapers pay, which is why journalists come to computer
magazines. But it's shit compared to what engineers and computer scientists
are paid, which is why you don't see too many of them there. (I'm an
exception; I have a BS in computer science from RPI. And there's a couple
other real techies here. But we're definitely the exception.)

Again, I'm not trying to excuse errors. Errors are inexcusable, and I would
be very glad if you-all told me every time InfoWorld made one. (I may go slit
my wrists afterwards, though.) It would make me feel better if you also told
me every time we did something well, too.



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