Media Bias and Procurement

All this talk of media bias in the Presidential election has gotten me thinking: are we, as bloggers, analysts and reporters biased when it comes to reporting and investigating procurement news and happenings? What lens do we take -- either unintentionally or intentionally -- and is our perspective focused too much on any one party? The other day, a Metal Miner reader, a global sourcing director at a Fortune 500 company, told Lisa that the reason he appreciated their angle was that it represented the buyer -- not the sellers -- in the metals markets. Why did he say this? If you consider the coverage and the angle on metals in other publications, chances are you’ll read what amounts to a primarily producer-driven perspective on the markets -- or potentially no perspective at all (i.e., reporting price increases or decreases without key insights into market direction).

Personally, I think much of the seller-focused analysis and reporting that we’ve become so accustomed to reading over the years is a symptom of two things: lazy research/reporting and a lack of domain knowledge. Fortunately, blogs like Metal Miner and Supply Excellence -- in its new format -- are really starting to change this paradigm offering detailed category-level reporting and analysis from a buyer-driven perspective.

I’m also seeing it when it comes to technology reporting and analysis as well. Over on Sourcing Innovation, The Good Doctor, as one of my colleagues refers to him, is increasingly focused more on the application of technology rather than just cutting through vendor marketing spin (which we all know he does quite well). On Spend Matters, I like to think that I’ve adopted a practitioner worldview when I write about topics such as global sourcing, supply risk management and the applied use of technology in negotiations. I will admit, however, that much of the vendor reporting and analysis still subscribes to the analyst-esque paradigm that essentially is a response or reaction to a detailed briefing or a vendor news item that I already have some context on. But I hope to change -- or at least augment -- this approach as well. In the next couple of months, you’re going to see a lot of SAP coverage on Spend Matters. In these analyses, I’m planning to take what amounts to a primarily user-driven perspective on SAP’s solutions -- and emerging solutions -- looking at what their new developments will mean in the context of a typical procurement and ERP systems environment.

So you tell me -- is this the type of analysis that people are looking for? What do you think of the coverage approach at Metal Miner and Supply Excellence -- and others that have adapted a more buyer-centric perspective? Above all, is this useful, and how does it change the manner in which the practitioners and consultants in the audience, who also use this information, research supply and technology market information?

- Jason Busch

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