Tag Archives: Cnet.com

Tech Reviews or Paid Advertising?

Technology Journalism is a relatively new form of journalism which has thrived off the inflation of social media platforms and blogging. The combined interest in all things ‘tech’ has propelled into thousands of tech journalism websites which consist of new technology news, reviews and how- to tutorials amongst other things.

I am questioning the power that these large tech journalism websites have over the consumer. The website Cnet.com┬áposts numerous categories of tech journalism one of which consisting of product reviews. After reading some product reviews I found myself being pulled towards to sponsored posts from major retailers and companies within the site. These reviews were telling the consumer how great the product is and all of it’s positives with very little negatives. Not that this surprised me as it is payed to be there, but it made me question. Are these really reviews or just a creative way and not so subtle form of advertising due to its biased nature?

I found an example of this from the homepage of Cnet.com. On the main home page on the side and banner of the page was covered in adverts for the new Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi. The website provides a direct link of where and how you can buy the laptop as well a small review of the product which only pointed our a tiny amount of negatives. I understand that websites have to make profit from their services but do sponsored posts of products including a review go against the key idea behind a tech websites ‘reviews’ page? I decided to compare a sponsored post to a real review and found the difference, they are more harsh plain and simple. But do we as the real consumers deserve to have the truth right in front of us or is it up to us as consumers to do our research and make the choice ourselves?.

Home page of CNET.com with the banners and sides of the website covered in product advertising. http://www.cnet.com/au/
Home page of CNET.com with the banners and sides of the website covered in product advertising.
http://www.cnet.com/au/
Review of the same Asus laptop but not a sponsored post. http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/23/8273331/asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-laptop-convertible-review
Review of the same Asus laptop but not a sponsored post.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/23/8273331/asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-laptop-convertible-review
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