I have been on just about all sides of this--first as a tech journalist, later in PR, and now on the vendor side and as a blogger. I know it sounds like you're being bullied by PR folks if they contact you and ask that you listen to the company side of the story, but a good journalist knows he or she doesn't have all the facts at hand and is willing to hear more. If all you get is something irrelevant, then fine. But why be angry at them when they have something to say to you about the company they represent? Opinion pieces aren't immune from this. If Joe Nocera at the New York Times does one of his columns, he always reaches out to a company rep in advance of writing the piece. Oftentimes, the company rep will say something stupid that actually makes life worse for them (witness his interaction with Steve Jobs). But the point is that he's writing opinion based on real research. Bloggers are often accused of spouting virulent, attention-grabbing screeds. One way to avoid falling into this trap is to pick up the phone and talk to the company before slamming them. Just my 2 cents.
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