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June 7, 2009

One Person's Rumor-Mongering Is Another Person's Process?

The New York Times publishes another story slapping the "rumor-mongering" of blogs. It uses the example of a recent report on two prominent blogs that claimed that Apple might buy Twitter.

Neither story was true. Not that it mattered to the authors of the posts. They suspected the rumor was groundless when they wrote the items. TechCrunch noted, 133 words into its story, that, "The trouble is we've checked with other sources who claim to know nothing about any Apple negotiations."

But they reported it anyway. "I don't ever want to lose the rawness of blogging," said Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch and the author of the post. (Owen Thomas, the writer of the Gawker post, has since taken a job at NBC and did not want to comment on the record.)

Such news judgment is not unusual among blogs covering tech. For some blogs, rumors are their stock in trade.
There are plenty of examples of bad journalism one could point to in blogs. This seems weak to me. The story was speculative, and it was labeled as such. Jeff Jarvis has a good post on this:

The problem with this tiresome, never-ending alleged war of blogs vs. MSM (Arrington attacks The Times) and MSM vs. blogs (The Times attacks Arrington) - (Mark Glaser scolded me for rising to The Times' bait) - is that it blinds each tribe from learning from the other. Yes, there are standards worth saluting from classical journalism. But there are also new methods and opportunities to be learned online. No one owns journalists or its methods or standards.
June 7, 2009 3:54 PM | | Comments (0)

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