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It's like a reporter doing a profile on a public figure…if something comes to
light that's unflattering, but you think it's not typical of them or there is
an explanation that casts them in a better light you don't decide to cover it
up. You report it objectively with whatever background information you think
is pertinent for your readers to have the necessary context to understand the
situation. At least that's what you do if you are a credible journalist.
I don't see it any different for a bike review. I expect you to report what
happened from the time you got the bike until you got rid of it. If the HS
bearing blew up on ride #2 tell me. You can also tell me that's a really
unusual incident and it almost never happens, is not the fault of the bike
company and would be quickly dealt with by the LBS under warranty.
If you start omitting stuff because you want to "craft" the right narrative
for the review I call BS. That's not journalism that's creative writing. It's
also insulting to your readers because implicit in the action is the fact you
don't think we can handle the truth. It's a slippery slope that might start
with good intentions, but once it's okay to omit critical events from a review
it's hard to have faith that the reviews don't end up as marketing spew.
The connection between advertising and reviews is already too cozy so I really
don't think doing anything that further assaults the credibility of a review
is a smart move.
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