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Thursday, July 26, 2007


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I couldn't agree with you more on this Nick. I think time is coming very fast where bloggers who "report" the news had better start being a lot more responsible and quit using the excuse of "New Media"

Sounds like you factchecked 'em.

Nobody said it'd be a pretty process though.... ;-)

I get the impression you've never done news professionally. I'm not entirely sure what additional fact checking we could have done at the time. It was a real email from within Apple, and I contacted my PR people at Apple on their personal cellphones to no avail. The story we had was solid -- until we found out later the memo was from spoofed from someone inside the company. Most of my industry colleagues agreed in my shoes they'd have done the exact same thing as I did.

Oh, and it's also worth noting that we went on to continue our regularly schedule string of scoops, including those about the iPhone (including an early hands-on report of the device: http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/23/new-details-about-the-iphone/, as well as the first report of the iPhone launch date and announcement strategy: http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/03/iphone-release-date-june-29th/).

Ryan, let me first state for the record that I in no way intended this post to be a slight against Engadget. Engadget is by far one of the better tech blogs out there - it's included in FeedDemon's default subscriptions because I consider it a reputable source of tech news.

But I actually do have some experience here. My degree is in journalism, and I worked in the newspaper business before entering the programming world.

In this case, I don't think Engadget did enough to verify the claims made by the (spoofed) email. My recollection of my days in journalism was that if a claim couldn't be verified by an "authority" prior to publication, it at least needed to be confirmed by a second trusted source, and even then the article needed to state that the company "wasn't returning requests to verify the information." If these steps were indeed taken, they weren't mentioned in your post.

Nick --

First, thanks again for being on The Delphi Hour.

On to your interesting post --

I fear you've proven the point that you appear to have debunked. You yourself have participated in fact-checking these errors in blogs. That's the power that Ken Layne was talking about. In the past people could -- in editorials, the media, books, etc. -- say things that were flat out wrong, but there was often no way to get the word out about these errors, and errors and outright lies could go on to become "true".

But now, blogs, can, well, "fact check their ass". Scoble, ValleyWag, and Engadget were all caught and issued corrections. I agree that bloggers can shoot from the hip, but they'll quickly be corrected and "slapped back down" buy, well, other bloggers like you. ;-)


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