[LINK] Analysts and journalists: A case of tainted love?
Thu, 24 Oct 2002 09:56:08 +1000
Analysts and journalists: A case of tainted love?
Tuesday 22nd October 2002 2:50pm
Ever wonder why you see particular IT industry analysts quoted again and
again on the pages of silicon.com and other publications?
Analysts remain a major port of call for IT journalists looking for expert
comment. According to a survey of 97 leading hacks by public relations
agency Hotwire PR, 64 per cent of respondents said they make the effort to
contact an analyst.
But the independence of these experts is called into question when the PR
company handling a particular story suggests journalists talk to a specific
individual in the analyst community. And it seems this practice may be
denting the credibility of the analyst community.
Hotwire's research identified a "growing level of cynicism" among
reporters. It's not just that they prefer real-world customer feedback - 54
per cent said that tops their list as opposed to 23 per cent for analyst
comment. It's more that they're suspicious of the motives of the analysts.
"Analyst input is not sought at all cost and must be within the right
context," a Hotwire statement says.
Tellingly, many journalists positively shy away from being set up with
analysts named by the PR machine. Thirty-seven per cent of the respondents
said they would not contact an analyst if suggested by a vendor. They
prefer to know who covers what technologies and issues and find them
Hotwire suggests the tainting of the image of star Wall Street analysts
such as Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker, Merrill Lynch's Henry Blodgett and
Salomon Smith Barney's Jack Grubman - now under federal investigation - as
a reason for industry analysts being held in comparatively low esteem these
"That's a different ball game, one with definite conflict of interest
issues," Dale Kutnick, Meta Group founder and co-research director, told
silicon.com. "Some analyst firms, people like Jupiter and Forrester, did
get too carried away [during the late 1990s boom]. It seemed like they were
predicting every 'e' market would be worth a trillion dollars in five
However, Kutnick pointed out that most industry analysts, including Meta,
take only a small percentage of their overall revenues, typically less than
two per cent, from single vendors.
So who are IT journalists turning to? The usual suspects, it seems.
According to the survey, the top five analyst houses UK journalists look
for, in reverse order, are: Yankee Group, Forrester, Ovum, IDC and, ahead
by some distance, Gartner Group - even if the latter is infamous for not
always being the easiest to reach.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of
-- John F. Kennedy
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