Bloomberg Reporters Get Bonuses if M&A Stories 'Move Markets'
An interesting report over at Business Insider
notes how Bloomberg uses the rather unique practice of giving its reporters yearly bonuses -- if their stories "move markets." Bloomberg has been at the heart of the recent wave of cable merger and acquisition rumors, many of which have contradicted one another but have driven Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter Communications stocks up significantly
in recent months. "Most of the people we spoke to, especially traders, were startled to hear about this practice, worrying that it might create an incentive for Bloomberg reporters to "push" or stretch stories with the specific aim of moving markets," notes the report.
Re: Well, isn't this unethical.
said by moonpuppy:Of course it is. But who would expect anything else from an organization owned by a political opportunist who switched parties anytime it suited his personal goals.
Seriously, a journalist is to report the news, not make it.
Re: we don't have "news" so much anymore
said by nasadude:Which has at least as many spin doctors, and may be better or worse depending on the source.
I get most of my real news from the web.
Multiple sources and being willing to track down the background yourself seems the only solution.
Something I found yesterday was the same story published in 4 separate news mags (in different market segments) under 4 different names (each was an "editor"/pundit known in their market segment but probably not generally recognized outside the specialty ) some paragraphs were word for word identical and all along the same gist.
Not plagiarism, but a market spotlight likely written by someone else and syndicated under these editors names with a sign toward promoting a new generation of products.
All tracable back to a single publisher group that does at least the online version of a number of highly respected mags from all around the world.
I don't think Bloomberg or the Murdoch group are alone or that this is new behavior.
Re: we don't have "news" so much anymore This situation isn't really anything new, although the immediacy and hyper-competitiveness of the web has apparently managed to lower standards across the board once again - such as they were to begin with. This isn't a terribly recent phenomenon for the web, either. A decade or so ago I found out that I would soon be working with/for someone who supposedly had an excellent reputation in our field (according to the person in upper management who was bringing them in), even though neither I nor anyone else in our group had ever heard of them before. So I went out to the web to do a little background research on this person, and found something like 20 separate stories (from as many different news and trade publications and related sites) all talking about this person in breathless and glowing terms, leading me at first to believe that maybe I and the rest of my group were just a little bit out of the loop here. But upon closer inspection, it turned out that 19 of those 20 stories were basically word-for-word identical, with only one being truly unique, and that one predated the others by several months, while the rest all came out around the same time.
Long story short: what this person was GOOD at was reputation management, and had obviously hired a PR or other similar firm to plant these stories out there about them. Another thing they were good at was handing over company money (and lots of it) to various vendors, who placed ads in these different publications, and who could leverage those ad dollars and use various other means to get the publications to pretty much print whatever they wanted them to print. What this person was exceptionally BAD at was doing the job they were actually hired to do, and in the end they were cut loose quite coldly and abruptly, but not before digging a financial hole for the company that it's still trying to get itself out of.