Why I Won't be Reporting from the iPhone Queue

By John Hazard  |  Posted 2008-07-15 Print this article Print

Friday was a dark day for reporters at newspapers and local television stations nationwide.

The iPhone 3G launch meant editors sent them in droves to Apple stores nationwide to ask all the same mind-numbing questions so we could gather the same boring footage and notes and file identical reports. Not what we had in mind when we dreamt of Pulitzer Prizes.

Reporters dread these assignments.

In a piece for the "KTLA Morning Show" on Los Angeles' CW affiliate, reporter Eric Spillman made it clear he didn't want to be there. He also made clear his disdain for the gadget geeks and nerds waiting hours to buy what he called "a phone."

One interview subject shot back and asked the question Spillman no doubt asked his producers earlier that morning: "This is journalism to you?"

By July 15, the above clip had been viewed on YouTube more than 275,000 times. Spillman later apologized.

The iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 are a landmark in technology. The launch, the buzz, the mania of waiting in line are a cultural moment that deserves attention. But for the hundreds of reporters forced to ask silly questions of folks in line, I feel your pain.

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