Remember: Like the development staff, most of the writers also represent a product, team or corporate entity larger than them.
Christian you mentioned this in passing but I think its worthy of elaboration: The historical momentum of the industry has publishers treating the press as nothing more than high-value marketing tools ready for manipulation, explicitly if they can get away with it, or implicitly if they can get away with that. Or to any extent possible that they think they can get away with. Whatever works, they'll do it, and they are only not doing some of those things right now because it's too obvious that they won't get away with it.
It's up to the press to have enough soul and wisdom and courage to put that kind of corporate relentlessness in its place. It's too bad that all three are in short supply.
Outside of some notable exceptions, the press are the cog in their marketing wheel only because they have accepted that role. This doesn't mean that the press should smash at the machine at every turn. It does mean that there was a really important reason why free press traditionally had a set of core values, and it drives home the meaning of those values. When we compromise those things, we lose the meaning of press itself.