Salute to Tech Crunch’s Alexia Tsotsis:
The most ridiculous part about this whole episode is that the post in question wasn’t even that “snarky,” whatever the hell that means. I mean it’s not like I wrote “Movie Studio Creates ‘Game’ In Order To Get People To Spam Their Friends On Facebook” in the headline.
The issue is simply that Summit thinks it can pressure us, through an AOL sister site, into making a balanced report more glowing. And while it’s inappropriate, it’s not surprising. Whatis surprising, and sad, is that Moviefone/AOL actually tried to comply with their request and asked us to change our post. It’s not just sad, it’s wrong.
So no AOL, and Moviefone, and Summit, I will absolutely not tone down my snark. This is Silicon Valley, not Hollywood.
MovieFone Editor in Chief Patricia Chiu doesn’t seem to get that they shouldn’t be messenger for movie studios to editorial boards:
1) The person who wrote that email was not acting in an editorial capacity. That person’s job is to act as an intermediary between the studios and editorial — not to dictate content, nor to weigh in on the content of Moviefone or any other AOL site. In fact, the presence of a person with that role is just one means we have of ensuring editorial integrity on Moviefone.
Chiu is saying that MovieFone protects editorial prerogative by allowing studios to send messages through AOL employees to sister site editors about the tone of their articles. That doesn’t seem all together right to me. Editors have inboxes for that.