The Verge is limiting “background” talks with PR people
Nilay Patel, the editor in chief of The Verge, writes about the tech news sites new policy of limiting “background” conversations with public relations and corporate communications professionals.
Patel writes, “The clear pattern is that tech companies have uniformly adopted a strategy of obfuscating information behind background. It’s also easy to see why companies like to abuse background: they can provide their point of view to the media without being accountable for it. Instead, journalists have to act like they magically know things, and readers have to guess who is trustworthy and who is not.
“This is bad, so we’re going to reset these expectations as loudly as possible.
- From now on, the default for communications professionals and people speaking to The Verge in an official capacity will be “on the record.”
- We will still honor some requests to be on background, but at our discretion and only for specific reasons that we can articulate to readers.
“To be even more specific, here is the new section we’re adding to our public ethics policy, located here. If you are a communications or public relations professional, you can reach out to me and we can discuss it further, but it is unlikely you will change my mind.”
Read more here.