Aug 3, 2009

Google Drives Security Topics in the Media

At Blackhat 2009 in Las Vegas there was an interesting panel discussion with some very seasoned journalists who cover the security market. The question came up: "How do you [journalists] decide which topics to cover?"

The answer included the expected: they rely on contacts, relationships, identifying trends and major news. But, almost all of the agreed on this: Google influences the news. Google traffic, page views, etc. Editors are business people too. And the more viewers the more the property is worth to advertisers. Thus, when Paris Hilton's cell phone gets hacked, or another star's twitter or facebook account are compromised, this counts as top news. People want to read it.

Similarly, the panel agreed there was a focus on the 'bad news'; the discovery of a vulnerability or exploit against a popular service or product. It was difficult for journalists to cover the solutions or positive trends as this would come close to promoting products, it was argued.