OLD Media Moves

Sloppy online reporting hurts business journalism

August 19, 2009


I’ve always been a big proponent of online business journalism. Some of the best journalism done today comes from sites like Marketwatch.com, TheStreet.com and others.

But there’s nothing that bugs me more than sloppy business reporting online because it tells the reader that there wasn’t as much care taken with the copy as should be.

The most recent example that a reader shared is a BNET.com story by Jim Edwards about advertising on Fox News. Read here.

The premise of Edwards’ original posting was that Fox was losing a lot of advertising revenue because of the boycott of the Glenn Beck show by some companies. Edwards pointed out that the companies advertising on the show, except for one, Honda, were all News Corp. subsidiaries.

Just one problem: They weren’t all subsidiaries. In fact, only The Wall Street Journal was a subsidiary. DirecTV and the Oxygen Channel, mentioned by Edwards as subsidiaries, are not part of News Corp. Oxygen is part of NBC, which is owned by General Electric.

Edwards has corrected the error sometime in the past 24 hours, but the premise of his post — that the only ads running on the Beck show are from News Corp. – is now faulty. Why keep it online if it’s no longer true.

I don’t watch the Beck show, or Fox News for that matter. Not my taste in news. But I do care about accurate business journalism. And this was not it. Checking your facts is one of the most basic tenets of what we do.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.