Business journalism, investors and Twitter
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
A story in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reports that Pacific Investment Management Co. invested in Lehman Brothers bonds before the Wall Street firm filed for bankruptcy court protection and went out of business.
However, those who follow PIMCO’s Twitter feed knew that the story was coming back on May 27, when PIMCO posted a comment from Bill Gross, who is a PIMCO co-founder.
The habit of sources tweeting information before a business news organization can get the details into print — or even online — is raising new questions for reporters and editors. How fast should a business reporter rush to get potentially market-moving information into print so that he or she is not scooped by their sources? And should business journalists use information posted on Twitter by well-known investors?
There are no easy answers. However, at least one news organization, Bloomberg News, has issued a warning to its bond reporters about such tactics, noting that “Pimco and others may do the same to us some time,” according to an e-mail sent to reporters and editors on the bond team.
The practice of trying to beat a business news story to the punch is now new, unfortunately. Some CEOs have been known to post transcripts of interviews they have done with the media before a story is published. And a handful of CEOs also have their own blogs where they write about their interviews.
Still, tracking Twitter feeds for major business news sources could become popular for reporters and editors looking to find out what the competition is working on.