Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Tuesday 4/11/2003What makes a news story?  Famously, it's something that somebody somewhere doesn't want you to know -- everything else is publicity.

Tuesday 4/11/2003
What makes a news story?  Famously, it's something that somebody somewhere doesn't want you to know -- everything else is publicity. We know a story when we hear one, and Munir Kotadia heard one today. He was at a big Red Hat press do, enjoying the hospitality and the company's famously charismatic and quotable CEO, Matthew Szulik. During questions and answers, though, things took a mildly odd turn. Szulik had mentioned his ninety-year-old father as an example of someone who shouldn't really be buying Linux but would be better off with Windows.

Now that's a story -- Red Hat saying don't use Linux for the desktop 'cos it's not ready yet. It's true -- of course it's true, we all know it -- and there really shouldn't be any mileage in "CEO SPEAKS TRUTH" shock horror, but in a world beset with wishful thinking, hype and misdirection, it's a story.

So Mun gets back to the office, writes it up and it duly gets a lot of attention. Which apparently upsets one of our dear comrades in online journalism, a writer for a site we shall refer to only as The Reg. In a masterful piece of poutery, the ancient master behind the keyboard complained that not only were we guilty of schlock sensationalism but that we'd nicked his question. Which is like getting told off by a New Hampshire bishop for being a bit camp: praise indeed. Mun is suitably abashed, and we promise to try harder to uphold the standards so blazingly exemplified by the site in question.

Now, what was that about Prince Charles?

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