Backstage: The most important tech article you’ll read today

Kudos to the Wall Street Journal’s James Bandler for investigating and reporting upon this story, “How Companies Pay TV Experts For On-Air Product Mentions,” which we think is one of the most important topics in technology journalism today. A couple of sample quotes:

“One of the most coveted TV consumer experts is Corey Greenberg, the ‘Today’ show’s main tech-product reviewer. He came to NBC in 2000 with little television experience. Previously, he was a well-regarded editor and writer at a number of audio-equipment magazines.

Mr. Greenberg has charged companies $15,000 per tour to get their products on local news programs, according to a copy of one of his contracts. Mr. Greenberg says paying clients he has mentioned on local shows include: Sony Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Seiko Epson Corp.

and Energizer Holdings Inc.”

iLounge’s editors are firmly and strongly opposed to the pay-for-(positive-)editorial-coverage practices noted in this article, which have become far more common than readers realize. And they’re only the tip of the iceberg. Paid viral marketing is one of the other key ones that bugs us. Great work, Mr.