indieWIRE isn't exactly a traditional "trade paper," but of course we often cover the ins-and-outs of the film business...one of the challenges of such reporting involves maintaining the access to the information that comes from the companies we try to report on. As top notch trade writer Anne Thompson unfortunately learned, that access can easily be threatened (Universal has entirely banned her from covering their studio after disputing one of her stories).
The message sent by such a decree from a studio chief is quite clear: don't piss us off or we'll cut you off. Indeed, the fear of losing inside access impacts coverage of the film business...I've chatted with top trade reporters recently who told me about stories they are avoiding for fear of pissing off inside sources, or company heads. In one case, the Hollywood trade reporter complimented indieWIRE for its coverage of a touchy subject. Meanwhile, a separate potential story remains unreported...it involves a rather complicated scenario that is difficult to sort out -- reporting it could ruffle some feathers, but we'll try to tread lightly and make sense of it.