Darren Barefoot raises an interesting question. The Vancouver technology PR consultant mentions a technology conference that allowed journalists to not disclose their contact information to the companies paying to exhibit at the site.
Barefoot calls the 80% of journalists who blocked their information "sorry ass journalists," and suggests they're not doing their jobs.
"This is reflective of a peculiar double-standard in journalism. It’s their job to cover the conference. It’s their job to receive and consider media information from companies. After all, it’s not like they’re investigative journalists uncovering corrupt politicians—95% of their news is placed by companies. If they’re too lazy to sort through their email prior to the conference, perhaps they should consider another career."
Having heard the horror stories of junior PR lackeys tasked with calling all the journalists prior to a conference and bugging them to visit a given company's booth, I'm more forgiving of the decision to use stealth mode.
But the company that allows journalists in free, but doesn't require them to identify themselves to paying distributors? Sounds like they're not providing the kind of services exhibitors are looking for.
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