“The job of a journalist is not to cheerlead, but to ask hard questions…”

In the Irish Times, Karlin Lillington makes a pertinent point on coverage of Apple’s recent launch of  “two phones, a payment system and a watch” –  “a non-existent product that, for now, remains vapourware”.  From the Irish Times

The idea of an audience of journalists and analysts giving a standing ovation at a product launch is, frankly, alarming.

The job of a journalist is not to cheerlead, but to ask hard questions. To be sceptical at product launches. To confirm Apple’s concerns from 2009 that the press might not even clap.

Maybe that final moment, when that press audience surged to its feet, said everything about what is going wrong with technology coverage in an era of barely rewritten press-release “churnalism”, advertiser-subsidised content, and writers that go reliably (G)oogly-eyed over the latest gadgets.

Ovations are for the fanbase. Not those whose job it is to take companies, and their claims and promises, to task.

To which I’d add… And doubly so in the political arena.

Just saying…