Business Press Maven person of year: Leaked memo
Marek Fuchs, the Business Press Maven at TheStreet.com, named the leaked memo as his person of the year.
Fuchs wrote, “Leaked memo, please slither up to the podium for a gracious acceptance speech.
“Lest you think I’m punch-drunk from a weekend of latkes, please realize how the leaked memo was in the middle of many of the big stories of the year, from Hewlett-Packard’s spy story to the recently canceled big meeting between President Bush and the Iraqi leadership.
“BP’s leak was a classic power play by a guy gunning for the top job by explaining how bad things are at the company now and, essentially, what he’d do differently. The only intrigue there is how the leak occurred: The memo was posted on the company Web site. Of all the currently Internet-related bad news for newspapers, this must be the worst: Newspapers are no longer even needed for leakers who want to leak. Even leakers are self-publishing online.
“But why so many high-profile leaks? The ruinous number of lawsuits in American business has led to burgeoning traffic in the leaked-memo market as each side in a legal dispute argues its case in the media. And the media, working in an increasingly competitive environment of its own, rife with layoffs, see the sort of scoop that comes from getting hold of a leaked memo as something that can set a publication apart, if not keep an individual journalist safe from the next round of ‘cost-cutting measures.'”
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