Yes, Major News Organizations Make Mistakes That Move Markets Too

from the well,-duh dept

I’ve spent the last couple of days at the Mesh Conference in Toronto, where there were some really fantastic people and conversations (as per usual, the best of those conversations occurred over meals and in hallways). However, at lunch on Thursday, someone who I won’t bother to name went off on the whole Engadget/Apple thing, insisting that the traditional press at least had processes in place to prevent that kind of thing, and that the “poor grandmothers” who lost money when their brokers sold Apple should absolutely blame Engadget. I tried to point out that the traditional press was equally as bad at times. He agreed that the press makes mistakes sometimes, but he suggested they would never be as bad because they had these “self-regulatory” measures in place that blogs like Engadget simply don’t live up to. Well, along comes Paul Kedrosky (who was supposed to be at the event, but couldn’t make it) to highlight how the traditional press absolutely can be just as bad. A CBS affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma posted an incorrect story about a refinery fire that caused crude oil prices to spike $0.40 in a matter of minutes. It’s the same basic thing that happened with the Engadget piece (in fact, the Engadget situation is a lot more understandable). However, will we see a big discussion on how major media outlets have no credibility and can’t be trusted like there were following the Engadget piece? Somehow, it seems unlikely.

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Comments on “Yes, Major News Organizations Make Mistakes That Move Markets Too”

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emichan says:

This is unsurprising, as human error has a way of creeping into any number of different industries, particularly communications. It is, however, worth pointing out that older, more established industries make mistakes as easily as newer ones. People are, of course, more familiar with the older ones and tend to trust them more, even if they shouldn’t.

This reminds me a bit of the brouhaha a year or so ago when Nature did a study that found Wikipedia to be about as accurate as Enc Brittanica. It shocked a lot of people. It also sparked some excellent discussions about new reference versus old, and the reliability of sources in general.

One can only hope that the present round of blog vs. newspaper can bring about the same level of discussion and awareness.

Dan says:


But even with that Nature study, people still refuse to accept Wikipedia as a legitimate source like they would a meatspace reference. Every once in a while, I’ll even hear about a teacher/professor who won’t accept works with Wikipedia references. If that hasn’t changed in the years since the study, then I don’t expect the Blogs vs. Paper credibility debate to end for a very long time.

Core2Extremist says:

Wikipedia = F

Dan brings up a good point. If I tried using Wikipedia as a source for any essay at my school, it would be failed immediately. My history teacher has failed essays on that point before, and will probably do it again before he retires in a few years.

Nobody is cocky enough in my IB program to try it with any other teacher because they would be beaten down. The only reason we’ve tried in history class is that the teacher has foot problems from diabetes and can’t run fast enough to tackle any of us to the floor and beat us to death with his massive cane.

Cixelsid says:

Re: Wikipedia = F

The only reason we’ve tried in history class is that the teacher has foot problems from diabetes and can’t run fast enough to tackle any of us to the floor and beat us to death with his massive cane.

ROFL! I didn’t know History Teachers had massive canes. Do they have to hold it with both hands? ;D

Core2Extremist says:

Re: Re: Wikipedia = F

Well, my history teacher is deceptively strong. He only *looks* overweight. Last year when somebody was talking, he brought is 1″ diameter oak cane down on the kid’s desk and snapped it in half, one-handed.

If you used Wikipedia, my best guess is that he’d use *both* hands and bring the cane down on your *face* 😛

Raymond says:


The fact is you really shouldn’t be referencing an encyclopedia either. It is tolerated because the content is static and the writers are held accountable (to a degree). I could spend the next 15 minutes making Mike and angry dude out to be the leaders the Bavarian Mafia on wikipedia – it’s a little more difficult on paper distributions.

These little bit of knowledge on everything are about getting your feet wet. Use real sources for quoting and you’ll be fine.

I agree, however. It’s much easier to trust what is old and familiar to what is new.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Wikipedia

“I could spend the next 15 minutes making Mike and angry dude out to be the leaders the Bavarian Mafia on wikipedia “

But, as my friend pointed out yesterday, Those who are dedicated to the truth and/or the site itself, will quickly change what you have written. That’s the good think about Wikipedia, more people than most people realise are willing to put in correct information.

If you can’t reference an encyclopedia, what can you reference?

Raymond says:

Re: Re: Wikipedia

But that’s not the point, is it? Not that anyone will fix the site once they know about the error. That is source is not static and is not trustworthy.

Where do you suppose encyclopedias get their information from? Do they investigate all that information for themselves? No. Ever noticed that last section on wikipedia? It’s a list of better references.

Just to give you a simple example: I sometimes need to work with these creatures for my PhD. If I want a reminder about something basic I’ll look here first. If I want to quote a reference, I’ll look up one of the listed references and source it instead. Technical books with much bore technical and trustworthy knowledge.

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