The NDA Question

by Anand Lal Shimpi on September 11, 2007 3:09 AM EST
GL asked this in response to my We're impartial! post yesterday and I thought it was worth a dedicated response. The question that prompted this post was as follows:

"Over at Ars Technica, it was suggested that AMD enforced an NDA with rather draconian stipulations. Were you guys subject to the same one or did you have some clout to do things on your own terms?"

I've read the story, and I don't doubt that things like this happen, but manufacturers stopped trying things like that with us years ago. We abide by NDAs when asked to but they are always simply terms of disclosure, we don't allow manufacturers any right to the content of our articles. The NDA simply covers when we're allowed to post a review, not the contents or conclusion of that review (the exception being if additional material must be excluded in order to satisfy a future NDA).

Most manufacturers aren't dumb, they know that all it takes is a story or two like this to really bring down hell upon them. I'm guessing someone at AMD screwed up and that person is paying dearly for the mistake right now. Everyone gets strong armed by manufacturers at some point, it's their job to get the press to do their bidding and it's our job to be loyal to one and one alone: the reader. It's a tough position to be in, especially when manufacturers start threatening to "re-evaluate sampling hardware" or even pull advertising (the latter being the reason we use a 3rd party ad agency for all ad sales) but my fundamental belief is that you've got to put the reader first and the rest will work itself out.
POST A COMMENT

4 Comments

View All Comments

  • GL - Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - link

    My memory might be a bit rough on this, but I remember when you went to visit Matrox in Québec and someone from the company left you $50 on your hotel bed. You called them out on the behaviour then, which I think was the right thing to do, even though you could have simply chosen not to write about it. In bringing up the topic on your blog I just wanted to clarify to anyone who might have had some doubts because of these stories that emerged, that AnandTech is part of a select group of review websites that you can actually trust because they have journalistic integrity. Keep up the good work. Reply
  • Rike - Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - link

    quote:

    . . . my fundamental belief is that you've got to put the reader first and the rest will work itself out.


    It's a little weak, but THANK YOU! Seriously.

    --
    Best regards,

    Rike
    Reply
  • soydios - Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - link

    and THAT is why we read AnandTech Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, September 17, 2007 - link

    quote:

    but my fundamental belief is that you've got to put the reader first and the rest will work itself out.

    Great!

    If I want marketing, I'll visit manufacturers' sites.

    If I want hardware enthusiast journalism, I'll visit anandtech.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now