Business journalists and their relationships with CEOS
Reuters blogger Felix Salmon examines the relationships that business journalists have with executives in the wake of CNBC’s Dennis Kneale criticizing The Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria for publishing a voice mail left for him by CEO Sumner Redstone.
Salmon writes, “It’s an integral part of the CNBC formula, which regularly gets CEOs onto TV so that it can flatter them by throwing them softball questions and making it seem as though the markets really care what they say. He writes that companies ‘all the time ‘reward’ us–help me out on this one, i’ll give you a scoop on that one. commonplace.’ And he’s fine with that.
“But in the era of the Daily Beast and Gawker and even FT Alphaville, not everybody plays that game any more, and the public is much better served for it. Kneale might be happy to reveal that he has frequently been asked by CEOs to burn his own sources, but he’s not going to tell us who they are: he feels it’s his job to keep such juicy information from the public, rather than reveal it to them. And the fact is that he’s in pretty illustrious company.
“Once you start working your way up the masthead, and hanging out with moguls at places like Davos and Aspen, this tends to happen to you: you get more comfortable, and less hungry; you think that access is more important than actual stories. Clearly Kneale has reached that place, and in a way I’m impressed that he’s happy to admit it. Most of the swanning-around class of journalists are delusional enough that they’d never do that.”
Read more here.