An interesting question from an anonymous voicemail I received:
"Why does your website have to have all this news about IKEA coming to town so big? Is it all just a free ad for them?"
That's an issue I've often wondered about myself, and one that readers bring up every once in a while.
To be more specific, I've long thought the media play a role in blurring the lines between actual news about technology and product announcements.
Most obvious case in point: Apple's press conferences to announce their new gadgets are almost universally reported as news. That's partly to be expected for a company that has been so successful.
Another example is the coverage of Google Fiber's high-speed foray into Kansas City. Like Apple, Google is one of the world's most visible and valuable companies, and such a big and novel project does have serious news value, especially in Kansas City.
But at what point does media coverage tip over into the realm of the promotional? I think that's a largely subjective line, and I can also tell you from my conversations with the newsroom that it's something journalists tend to think about themselves quite a bit.
I'd invite readers to send examples of where they think The Star has been too boosterish for any company, local or not.