Now that Apple is publishing newspapers, can newspapers cover Apple?

Dan Gillmor sez, "News organizations are joining the Apple ecosystem. Is this dangerous for journalism? Conflicts of interest?

And where's the transparency from organizations that demand it from others?"

By appearing on stage at the Apple event and by launching an iPad app that the Times wants to monetize in every possible way -- an app from which Apple will likely make money as well -- the Times is becoming more of a business partner with a company it covers incessantly. And when Apple promoted the Times so visibly before the in-store selling date of the iPad, given the millions of people who visit Apple's home page each month, it was giving the Times a huge boost.

Apple's website is, by any standard, a media property; all institutional websites -- just as all blogs, for that matter -- are media properties in this world where boundaries are becoming less easy to discern. So I found myself wondering: Did the Times pay for this fabulous product placement? Or did Steve Jobs (I'm assuming he at least approved this) decide to associate Apple with an undeniably great news brand in this extremely out-front manner -- well beyond the routine way that Jobs and other Apple executives have shown the Times on conference screens over the years as they demonstrated new products?

I've asked the newspaper's spokesman this question. So far he has not responded.

Complicating Relationships in Media: Apple, NY Times Dealings Raise Questions

(Thanks, Dan!)