by Mike Masnick

Media Cred In Toilet With Blair, iLoo Debacles

from the is-it-really? dept

Mark Glaser over at Online Journalism Review has written up an article looking at both the Jayson Blair/NY Times fraud and the whole iLoo mess and wonders if it means that journalists are taking a credibility hit. The article quotes me at one point suggesting that fact-checking is a lost art. While he pulled the most obvious quote out of our interview, I think there were some other worthwhile points that we discussed. I mentioned that I didn't think the issue was so much about journalistic credibility in the case of the iLoo, but the way in which news organizations gleefully tweaked each other for falling for the hoax - and how those same organizations were then caught themselves for not having figured out that the hoax, itself, was a hoax. I also pointed out that, while Microsoft's PR team took a credibility hit, I doubted anyone was not going to believe the next press release that came out of Redmond. To be honest, I went back and forth on how to answer some of his questions, since I'm not really sure people cared that much about the "journalistic credibility" when it came to the iLoo story. The Blair case is a bit different, since those were stories that really impacted people - and not a filler story about what a nutty idea someone at Microsoft might have had.

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  • identicon
    Steve Anderson, 15 May 2003 @ 5:55am

    Not Real

    The problem BEING that the story, then hoax, then real, isn't exactly proven either. It was MSNBC (first story broke) backtracking. It was a vague joke/prank protoype concept, and reportedly the idea was stolen at that, and then a backtrack on the hoax story. Now saying it was real, when it was nothing more than a prank. Depends on how you define hoax too.
    Here's what LOGICALLY happened: Started as a prank, got picked up as a serious Marketing thing, someone, not really thinking, thought it was real and channeled in it, but it was a hoax, a joke. But that LOOKS bad for MS PR to be doing hoaxes, so it had to be REAL, but it wasn't and even if it would have been, Redmond corporate nixed. Where's the prototype? I seriously doubt it was anything more than a joke, that someone took seriously. Too many gotchas. I think the real, then hoax, now real...is wrong. Hoax at start, that got placed in seriously, has all the earmarks of it. It may have been TREATED as real by MSN Marketing and Wagged, but it never was. Real? Then MS must prove it.
    Final result: MS cannot even believe its own PR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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