OLD Media Moves

Examining CNBC's sources on Apple

January 20, 2009

Owen Thomas of Valleywag takes a close look at CNBC Silicon Valley reporter Jim Goldman and his sources in covering Apple and concludes that is best source is a former CNBC staffer who now works for the computer company.

He also raises the question as to whether Goldman has made up sources.

Thomas writes, “Fast Company’s Adam Penenberg tried Googling ‘CNBC ethics’ and came up short. We called Kevin Goldman, a spokesman for CNBC, to ask what the network’s policies on anonymous sources were — how they were to be used, and whether reporters were obligated to reveal their identities to their editors and producers. (Such is the practice at most magazines and newspapers.)

“Goldman (no relation to Jim) said, ‘CNBC has policies and guidelines that are followed by everyone. And we don’t disclose those policies to the public.’ And he would not comment on the identity of CNBC’s sources at Apple.

“Blogs are not known for impeccable sourcing. (We call them ‘tipsters’ for a reason.) But at least we’re upfront about it — indeed, we’re the first to question our sources, often in the same blog post that we cite them. That kind of probing uncertainty makes for a better path to the truth. But it doesn’t make good television, and it doesn’t fluff up the easily deflated ego of a self-declared ‘insider.'”

Read more here.

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