The ABC TV show Media Watch is investigating the activities of “Gadget Guy” Peter Blasina as part of a cash for comment probe.
Exclusive: The ABC TV show Media Watch is investigating the activities of technology journalist Peter Blasina. The move comes only weeks after Blasina who is also known as The Gadget Guy was seen plastered over a Harvey Norman Technology catalogue offering lifestyle technology advice.
Blasina, who also appears on the Seven Network show Sunrise, is being investigated according to one vendor, who has hired Blasina’s services in the past, as part of an IT industry “Cash for Comment” investigation.
On one hand Blasina describes himself on his Gadget Guy web site as a high standard IT journalist yet on the other he sells his services to vendors and resellers who in turn use his so called “Journalistic credibility” to promote products and services.
This many people say puts him in a compromising position and reduces his ability to be impartial.
During the past 12 months Blasina has sold his services to the likes of Amber Technology, Philips, Harvey Norman, as well as Panasonic.
Marcel Mellick Marketing Manager at Panasonic admitted that he had been approached by staff from the ABC program Media Watch. “They came to us looking for a copy of a video that Peter Blasina had done for Panasonic. They indicated that they were investigating a case of cash for comment”.
A senior executive at Philips also told SmartHouse that they had been approached by Media Watch concerning the commercial arrangements of Philips and Peter Blasina. When SmartHouse spoke to Peter Blasina he said “I know Media Watch is doing a number on me. I have done nothing wrong. In all my arrangements both with Harvey Norman and others I have been up front and I have gone out of my way to not support their products or services”.
On his own web site Blasina describes himself as contributing to mainstream newspaper dailies, key technology magazines, on broadcasting vehicles such as public broadcaster ABC Radio and TV station Channel Seven. He owns and publishes two news stand magazines that are distributed in
Blasina recently did a home cinema guide brochure for Amber Technology however he has failed to reveal in reviews of Amber Technology products in his own magazine or on air that he is being paid for services by Amber Technology.
Peter claims that he writes and speaks extensively on the rapidly changing landscape of technological innovation and its impact on business and consumers as well as regularly reviewing and analysing a broad range of communications, computer, video and multimedia products.
He points out that he appears regularly as the on-air technology reporter for Channel Seven’s Sunrise breakfast program and is heard weekly presenting both business and technology issues on Nightlife with host Tony Delroy on ABC Radio, which is broadcast nationally through 87 ABC affiliate stations.
What is not explained is how he as a journalist can on one hand review or write about a product or service and then flog his services to the very same people he is reviewing. He admits on his web site that he has done work for Deutsche Bank, the Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank, Colonial Bank, the Australian Hotels Association, Nortel Networks, Kodak Australia, Lucent Technologies, Apple Computer Australia, Telstra, Sony Australia, Hanimex, Retravision, Tandy Electronics, RetireInvest Corporation, Business Publications Australia (BPA), Photo Marketing Association (PMA), CPA Australia and the Mortgage Industry Association of Australia.