Since Steve Jobs’ death, journalists all over the world have been reflecting on the creative genius and how he changed the world of technology. Turns out, the Apple co-founder affected the journalism world too.

Since Steve Jobs’ death, journalists all over the world have been reflecting on the creative genius and how he changed the world of technology. Turns out, the Apple co-founder affected the journalism world too.

Even if you don’t agree with some writers who believe Jobs “saved” journalism, at the very least, he had a strong impact.

Jobs created a product that is now inseparable from news – a portable device that is the media’s future, says Jeff Sonderman of Poynter.org. In an age where critics are broadcasting the death of print (likely in part due to the popularity of the iPad and iPhone), Jobs has created a potential new revenue source for newspapers: apps. Eight-eight per cent of U.S. national newspapers today have them.

“The iPhone was not the first smartphone,” writes Sonderman, “But it was the first to employ a full-face touchscreen, to decide finger taps and swipes were better than buttons, and to unleash the enormous power of third-party apps.”

In 2010, Jobs met with editors at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine to discuss the iPad. “Anything that we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression so they can afford to get paid, so they can afford to keep their editorial operations intact, I’m all for it,” Jobs said at a conference later that year.

He seemed to want to work with media outlets to help them adapt to the new world of Apple products.

“If you take him at his word, Jobs cares hugely about preserving journalism for journalism’s sake,” writes Sonderman. (He wrote the article before Jobs’ death.)

Jobs certainly appeared to value the credibility and esteem of established news sources. “I don't want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers. I think we need editorial oversight now more than ever,” he said at a conference in June 2010.

There are accounts, though, of negative interactions Jobs had with media.

In Sept. 2010, Chelsea Isaacs, a journalism student at Long Island University emailed Jobs, requesting information for a class assignment after she got no response from Apple’s media relations office. She exchanged several emails with him, and his replies grew increasingly brisk. Jobs’ final response to her? “Please leave us alone.”

In an article in the Los Angeles Times, James Rainey writes that Jobs didn’t appreciate a “vigorous, unbridled media,” and was tight-lipped and often unwilling to give interviews or information to journalists.

“Reporters who covered Apple tell tales of being poked or prodded for straying out of line,” writes Rainey. “[One] reporter described trying, with futility, to get Jobs and Apple to comment for a story that described the origins of the iPod. After making sure there was no communication, Jobs sent a scathing email about the ‘many inaccuracies’ in the piece.”

Regardless of whether Jobs liked or loathed journalists, he was largely responsible for bringing business and tech reporting to new heights.

David Carr of the New York Times writes that Apple launches were all about the magical “reveal” – Jobs knew how to create consumer suspense and excitement about new products. This, in turn, put a spotlight on business and tech journalists to report on their releases.

“Business has always been important, but until Mr. Jobs arrived, it was rarely accused of being cool,” Carr writes. “Because he was a showman, because he made interesting things that consumers cared about, readers began to follow his products as they might a band or their favorite team. Being an Apple user became a marker of cultural identity and conveyed cool. Some of that splashed onto those who covered business.”

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