Over the past week, there have been two Yahoo takeover rumors written in major newspapers. These were presented as news or even deals in progress. First, there was the $20 billion Microsoft search deal that Kara Swisher debunked. Now, we received news that the Jonathon Miller buyout was also a false rumor. These stories were posted by the Times of London and the Wall Street Journal. So, where is the outcry from the blogosphere? The newspapers got it wrong! When the blogosphere widely reports on rumors, they are called hacks and rumormongers. The newspapers get something this large wrong, and nothing happens. Why is there a difference in treatment?
Let me start by saying that Kara Swisher is a true journalist that happens to blog. I love what she writes and thankfully she is playing both sides of this argument. She is one of the few people that seems to be researching these articles to determine if there is any truth to them. However, she has not complained loudly enough that the newspapers are reporting these rumors. Maybe I am expecting too much, but I know she has commented on other journalist-bloggers reporting on some of these rumors as well. Maybe I am missing her comments on the lack of real research from the newspapers.
I also do not want to single out Kara as there are many people who normally do not shy from controversial opinions. Where is Michael Arrington? He reported on the recent false rumor, but has not commented on the “lack of standards” from the newspapers. Where are the other journalist-bloggers? Many people have come to the defense of bloggers when confronted with the “they reported a rumor” problem.
I am not saying that we should treat journalists and bloggers the same. I am not a journalist and I do not pretend to be one. Typically, I write opinions on various news items and technology. This is what a lot of bloggers do. So, if bloggers write opinions on acquisition rumors, why is that so wrong? Why is it ok that newspaper journalists can report rumors as something resembling fact?
Maybe, just maybe, I am just too cranky this morning.