OLD Media Moves

Biz news site to short stocks

February 10, 2010

James Rainey of The Los Angeles Times writes Wednesday about a recently launched site, iBusinessreporting.com, that plans to make money by shorting the stocks it writes negative stories about.

The funding for the site is similar to one launched several years ago by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and run by a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch business reporter.

Rainey writes, “What has many traditional journalists agog is not just that Lobdell threw in with onetime ZZZZ Best con man Barry Minkow, but what the duo, operating as iBusinessreporting.com, proposes to do to make a buck. They will short-sell many of the companies they investigate, in effect betting that they can drive stock prices down, simultaneously pushing iBusinessreporting’s bottom line up.

“This notion of a profit-motive near the heart of journalism has a lot of reporters shaking their heads. But what I find at least as intriguing as the website’s novel funding model is the proprietors’ argument for deserving as much credibility as any other news organization — transparency.

“Full disclosure has become a mantra for many media companies, but the full power, and limits, of laying your identity and values on the line may be tested by few newcomers like iBusinessreporting.”

Read more here.

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