Media, PR, News, and Apple

It’s always interesting to see how the media react to news. Case in point: Apple’s recent China labor issues.

If you didn’t hear, a report titled iPod City was released in early June, alleging that there were significant violations of acceptable labor conditions in the Chinese plant that produces iPods. Apple promised to investigate, and yesterday released a report on the findings.

What I find fascinating is the reporting spin that news organizations put on this story. Here, from Macsurfer, are a selection of the relevant headlines. Suffice it to say that people will have significantly different opinions of what’s going on depending on where they read about it.

News around the web

  • Apple Finds No Forced Labor at iPod Factory in South China
    New York Times

  • Apple admits excessive iPod hours

  • Apple Says Probe Finds No Serious Labor Violations at iPod Factory in China
    Associated Press

  • Apple audit finds factory violations in China: Firm vows to fix problems at iPod suppliers
    San Jose Mercury News

  • Apple releases iPod factory audit results
    Ars Technica

  • Apple to partner with Foxconn on labor conditions

  • Apple Finds Few Violations at Chinese iPod Factory
    IDG News Service

  • Apple shows transparency in China iPod factory audit

  • Apple releases results of iPod factory probe

  • Apple: Foxconn Violated Overtime Rules
    The Mac Observer

  • Apple work code broken at supplier’s China plant

You’d almost think they’re talking about a different story. Or at least, that the facts are different. I guess it depends what you want to focus on: mostly good, or the few violations that they did find.

Of course, “mostly good” in a Chinese factory is probably enough to make most of us soft, coddled North Americans and Europeans running screaming home to mommy.

. . .
. . .

One critical difference
The Ars Technical and AppleInsider stories link right to Apple’s report. Not so at the NY Times, the AP, the Beeb, or Reuters. You get news from us, they seem to be saying. I wonder if they do a good soup Nazi?

That’s one key reason I get my news from the blogosphere.

[tags] apple, china, sweatshop, ipod, news, PR, public relations, coverage, bias, headlines, john koetsier [/tags]


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