It used to be that you got more than what you paid for. Trade publications would provide access to information and news -- often at a low cost (or even for free) -- and access to analyst reports only came with expensive research licenses. In this world, articles and news analysis in the trades would often hit the mark, quoting known industry experts who offered a candid opinion on the news of the day. But in my view, the trades are getting lazy. Consider how Purchasing covered the Emptoris / DiCarta merge -- one of the biggest stories in the Spend Management world in months -- by recycling existing press release material, and failing to cite any original outside opinions (except for the vendor in question). In my view, while Supply and Demand Chain Executive offered a far more informative take than Purchasing, and at least took the time to cut and paste some AMR quotes, neither article constituted old school investigative journalism in my book.
The quality decline in news reporting in trade pubs like Purchasing hits home. My wife was originally schooled in journalism, and I've been writing op/ed pieces for the trades since my first job out of graduate school when I was twenty-one. We both believe that healthy trades are a critical piece of the content ecosystem in the Spend Management world. But from a news coverage standpoint, they're proving themselves irrelevant in a world where an increasing amount of analyst news coverage is becoming free. 20-30 minute cutting and pasting efforts and doing the bare minimum of interviews (if that) will not cut it in today's world. Both AMR's and Aberdeen's take on the Emptoris / DiCarta merger cost readers nothing to read, and were 500% more informative.