Juli Clover, writing at MacRumors:
Edge for Mac has been designed to be similar to the Edge experience on Windows, but Microsoft has added optimizations to make it feel more Mac-like.
It’s a small snippet of text that could prompt me to head in multiple directions. A recent episode of Accidental Tech Podcast has me thinking about what makes a Mac app “Mac-like,” which might be one avenue to take. What I’m choosing to tackle is the larger question the text raises: Clover’s role as a reporter or, as her MacRumors bio reads, a Senior Editor.
The article reeks of being a press release regurgitation, as if Clover received an email from Microsoft’s public relations department detailing the release of Edge for Mac which got rewritten into what made it into the site’s content management system. As an editor in my own right, I can spot this type of content from a mile away.
What’s the point? What purpose does such content serve? I’m confident a quick web search would uncover a veritable treasure trove of similar so-called articles covering the exact same talking points but written in slightly different ways.
Clover’s role as a Senior Editor shouldn’t be to restate a company’s marketing copy. Rather, she should be asking questions and seeking answers. For example, what exactly does Microsoft mean by “Mac-like” and what specific accommodations were included to achieve this?
Mainstream publications teem with dribble like the article Clover pushed out on Jan. 15 because it’s easy. It’s easy to not ask questions and not think deeply about a given topic. It’s hard to look past the public relations bullshit, ask real questions and craft an article with unique, valuable content.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines a reporter thusly:
a person who gathers information and writes reports for publication in a newspaper, magazine, etc.
All reporters benefit from remembering the importance of gathering information which, if the definition is taken literally, comprises half of the job.