When journalism calls, you are more than pleased to be invited over to any event that is loosely tech related. Of course it is best when it is on company’s money. A lot marketing budget is spent the journalists either the company fails to do it by their products or to show some hospitality and get to know them better.
I’ve made some solid acquaintances through my years for meeting a few times through a year and constantly keeping in touch, which most of them are either shifted their business focus or left the industry. After my break around 2009-2014, if was like a fresh start; too less of previous relations remaining abroad. After I joined Hardware Plus, the only remaining regular computer and tech magazine in Turkey, those chances of meeting people and invitation to events ceased. Even though I am working as a tech journalist/columnist/etc. for nearly fifteen years, my recent publication does not provide companies with their hard sought mindless hype for their products and services enough. That’s okay. We do not hold back our criticism and pay the price for the readers and followers. One of those companies which cannot bear any criticism is Apple. They ended providing review samples after we pointed out that iPhone 7 is fine but not a major upgrade in some of our videos. This is my guess, since they do not contact me even for press releases.
You may know that, when Apple invites you to an event they say that you sign a waiver not to talk negative about their products, services, or about Apple in general. If you do, they will not invite you to anywhere any more. The paper also says that you must applaud when applause sign is on and other stuff that basically puts you in “extra” role in a film set. I only know one man personally, Erdi Özüağ, who declined to sign that paper then immediately had his badge removed from his neck, denied access to the event, sent back to hotel immediately to pick up his stuff and “escorted” to airport to catch the first plane. That’s what I’m told, not by himself but other colleagues that we share the scene here.
Is it really possible to hand your puppet strings to companies, and yet claim you are a journalist? I believe not.