OLD Media Moves

HedgeWorld blogger wants full story behind killed Reuters story

December 24, 2009

Chris Clair, the managing editor of the HedgeWorld blog for Reuters, would like to know the full reasons behind why the wire service killed a story about hedge fund trader Steve Cohen.

Clair writes, “As a news organization, all we have connecting us to our audience is our credibility. When we make mistakes, when we miss the point, when we fail to publish in a timely manner—each of these creates a little crack in that credibility. Once enough cracks form over time, the credibility is eroded and ultimately broken apart. At that point it doesn’t matter how many orange dots you have swirling around your TV commercial or how intelligent you claim your information is. Once that bond is broken you’re screwed.

“Because Reuters is my company, there’s a big part of me that hopes this incident has been blown out of proportion; that the blogs don’t have the whole story. I fear that’s not the case, however. The way it looks now is positively scandalous. And as a journalist it makes me almost physically ill to think about it.

“I hope someone above me addresses the situation publicly, because lord knows not addressing it ain’t working. Right now this incident is relatively contained (although it was the most viewed post on ZeroHedge as of Tuesday). But by next week, this will be all over the place—Romanesko, Drudge. From there it could get real ugly real fast.

“And herein, I hope, lies a lesson for whomever killed Matt Goldstein’s Steve Cohen story: When you make a decision like that, under those circumstances, the back story will get out. And the fallout from that back story will always, always be worse than the fallout from the story itself.”

Read more here.

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