first time I actually comment on your forum. I really wanted to mention that I appreciate you being truthful to yourself and outspoken. As mostly a consumer of news/hobby videographer I am only interested in a critical view at new developments (both positive and negative). Ultimately, what works for one person with any given camera does not necessarily work for another and vice versa. So please do not change that approach and keep on with your journalistic approach.
Being myself a Head of Marketing in the B2B world (instead of B2C) I can only underline your statement, Andrew, that nobody can really stay 100% objective after having been nicely treated at a wonderfully orchestrated event. If that were so, why would marketers literally pour tremendous amounts of money into such events if „theoretically“ good marketing claims could speak for themselves? Such events serve but one goal: Paint the newly launched product in the best possible light and create a fan basis for it subliminally. Who better to try to influence than multipliers? In many corporations codes of conduct (especially in purchasing departments) were developed over the past thirty years to try to reduce this kind of influencing from suppliers by not accepting any gift whatsoever from them.
Being on the marketing side I also ethically feel much better creating marketing stories/events for newly launched products where I know that there is fundamentally good evidence that this product will excel in at least one or better even in many categories/features vs competitor products. But when faced with a bad product to be newly launched it can be a tough job for any marketer. All the more reason to focus on the soft factors in marketing via nice events.
Last but not least: What is objectivity, anyway? How do you measure that? An honest opinion (negatives and positives) will always be biased but at least honest and not pretending to be non-biased.