I, Dan Tynan, being of relatively sound mind and body*, do hereby make the following disclosures. Over the course of my 247 years in technology journalism:
- I have accepted travel and/or accommodations from the following sponsors: AVAST software, a consortium of Swedish wireless startups whose name I cannot recall, General Motors, the Iceland Tourism Board, IFA Berlin, KOA, Samsung Electronics, and Servoy. (I may have forgotten one or two.) As a result, I have been able to go places and do things that I would not as a freelancer have been able to afford – and lord knows none of the publications I write for would spring for any of that.
- In some cases I have been asked to write something about what I learned on my trip. The topic, tone, or tenor of what I chose to write was never discussed. At no time have I ever traded favorable coverage for any kind of compensation. When these people call me, however, I do pick up the phone. (Because you never know when they may be offering another cool trip.)
- I have gotten a ton of free electronics. As someone who occasionally writes about gadgets for national publications, I get buried in this stuff. Some of it I am asked to return, some I am not. Listing everything I’ve been sent over the past 10 years would be a career all by itself. Mostly it just piles up and I have to periodically give it all away or recycle it. To people who don’t do this for a living it sounds like fun, but it’s mostly a pain in the ass.
- I have eaten a lot of free cheese. Also shrimp, roast beef, crackers, beer, etc. Anyone who’s ever been to a press reception knows what I’m talking about. I’ve also enjoyed a few meals on the dime of someone who was trying to impress me, but probably failing.
People who follow my work know that I am opinionated, blunt, cranky, sarcastic, and critical. I also try to be fair and accurate. If I make a mistake, I try to correct it as soon as possible. There are folks out there who love every piece of technology they get their hands on. I’m not one of those people. But when I like something I tend to really like it, and my opinions aren’t influenced by any of the above.
* Hey, I’m not dead yet. That counts for something.