Harry McCracken, former editor-in-chief of PC World magazine, recently resigned his position at the magazine following an argument with IDG CEO Colin Crawford. You can find the whole story here. The heart of the argument was a disagreement over an Apple-bashing article that Crawford did not want published in the magazine. The as of yet unconfirmed rumour that has been circling the internet is that the reason of the disagreement was that Crawford did not want to bash a company which is regularly advertised in PC World magazine. The obvious issue here is whether journalism (i.e. the truth) is affected by how many ads each advertiser purchases in the magazine.
Colin Crawford is quick to point out that there is no favouritism toward any advertiser. However an unconfirmed transcript of an internal meeting (see “Update” at the bottom) has Crawford stressing that he wants â€œthe marketing people to have input on [the magazineâ€™s] processes.â€ That statement is open to interpretation. The one at the bottom of the post is not:
The last question a staff member asked was, will this happen again? Will the next editor-in-chief have last-call on what goes in the magazine or will Crawford, essentially, always be asserting his rank over editors?
“And the answer was no, I’m going to have last call,” the source said Crawford told them.
It looks like Crawford is prepared to repeat his mistake, because that is what it was. Even if his claim is indeed true and he doesnâ€™t favour advertisers, he canâ€™t keep asserting his rank over chief-editors. No respectable editor will allow him to do this. Occasional disagreements are one thing but at the end of the day you hire a chief-editor based on what you want the magazine to look like and then you let him do his job. If you made the wrong choice you fire them. But you canâ€™t micromanage them whenever you see fit.tags: analysis, news
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