Media News

Time to change how business news reports about Musk

August 8, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

Casey Newton writes on his Platformer site about how business news organizations cover Tesla CEO Elon Musk and why they must change their tactics.

Newton writes, “For most of you, I realize, it is no longer news that Musk stretches the truth until it disintegrates. At least since he lied about having ‘funding secured’ to take Tesla private, it’s been clear that we should apply a healthy discount rate to everything he says.

“At the same time, it is in the nature of business journalism to assume that CEOs of public companies are not lying all the time. And it’s in Musk’s nature to make frequent, bold pronouncements about his companies, politics, the nature of consciousness, and so on, all of which are irresistible to editors.

“Stories about these pronouncements are dead-simple and cheap to produce — a description of an embedded tweet, followed by 300 or so words of context. And because people read these stories in huge numbers, publishers devote a lot of space to them. (If there’s an Elon Musk tweet that Insider hasn’t written a short post about this year, it’s news to me.)”

Read more here.

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