Thoughts On Best of Show Awards: The Process + Results
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013
As a matter of policy, we rarely comment on what’s taking place at other publications, but I wanted to share a few thoughts related to the CNET Best of CES award controversy that’s currently going public—one that has raised questions over CNET’s editorial independence, after it was revealed that CBS executives tampered with the original award results.
I’ve worked professionally as a writer and reviewer for a little over two decades now, so I have a fair bit of experience in rating products and services, as well as judging awards. Over the years, I’ve headed up award panels (including iLounge’s), participated in others (such as CES’s Innovations Design and Engineering awards), and spent quite a lot of time thinking about what is and isn’t award-worthy. The independence and integrity of the award judging process are truly very important to me—values that I’ve imparted to every member of iLounge’s team, before, during, and after we sit down to discuss awards. Because these values have been with us since the beginning, I can say with confidence that our publisher has never interfered with our award process; every award has been a pure editorial selection, based on the merits of the product’s design, features, and pricing. In the Apple accessory world, innovation remains a highly desirable but rare fourth factor.
Our awards have always been earned, and never bought; unlike many publications, we do not charge companies to submit products for award consideration, nor for the right to publicize or reprint the awards—a shockingly common trick that can earn award-granting publications thousands of dollars. Moreover, we always bring fewer awards than we could hand out, and always hand out fewer awards than we brought. This year, we brought 30 total awards and had five left over at the end. To us, the process of judging awards isn’t a business. As our inclusion of reasonable pricing as a factor should underscore, issuing awards is something we do to commend developers for doing right by their customers.
In some years, potential awards have inspired passionate debate amongst our editors: generally brief but serious arguments over items that might otherwise have sailed through without full consideration, or been dismissed too quickly. This year, a new contributor noted our extended discussion of the actual engineering merits of an iPad mini wheelchair mount that otherwise seemed deserving of an award. That sort of deliberation is par for the course in our process. And on many occasions, we’ve passed on handing out awards to products that were obviously going to be heavily marketed—and potentially popular—simply because they didn’t meet our criteria for actual excellence.
I can’t speak to what happens at other publications, but I’m extremely proud of the work that goes into our annual awards. Our goal isn’t to have every reader agree with every award, but rather to consistently choose impressive new products that are deserving of special attention on their merits. This year’s Best of Show Awards include many new products that are worthy of your attention. We hope that if you haven’t seen them yet, you’ll take a look, and know that they were arrived upon through a process you can trust.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Startup uses iBeacon to allow Newsstand publication access
- Honda announces iPhone-powered car touchscreen
- Report: Apple may launch two 12.9-inch iPads
- Apps: Jetpack Joyride 1.6, The Lonely Beast 123, LoryStripes + Shazam 7.2
- Mophie debuts Powerstation XL battery pack
- China Mobile subsidiary briefly takes iPhone preorders
- Apple acquires social analytics firm Topsy Labs
- Apple posts shipping deadlines for Dec. 24 delivery
- Apple offers 0% online hardware financing in Europe
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, last chance for giveaways
- Belkin LEGO Builder Case for iPad mini
- Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air
- Incipio Atlas ID for iPhone 5s
- JBL Spark Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speaker
- IK Multimedia iRig KEYS PRO
- Nest Labs Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Mobee Technology Magic Juice
- Skech Glow for iPhone 5/5s
- Jawbone UP24
- Misfit Wearables Shine Personal Physical Activity Monitor
- iMessages come in from email address instead of phone number
- Passcode entry field not appearing on iPhone
- Custom ringtones assignments don’t sync to iCloud
- Resuming incomplete iCloud backups
- Adding multiple photos to a Shared Photo Stream
- Quality of videos sent via Messages
- Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone
- Problems logging in to iTunes Store
- Receiving FaceTime calls on multiple devices
- iOS 7: Incorrect display of Company-only contacts