A Note from the Editor (Josh):
The state of the blogosphere is something that’s been on our minds a lot lately as we try to make our own mark in the industry. There’s a lot to absolutely love about the industry, and a few things that drive us absolutely crazy. After stumbling onto this post from Stephen Hackett, we thought it was something we should post here, so we asked for his permission to repost it. It’s an interesting commentary, let us know what you think in the comments.
Dear Media, Please Stop Reporting Verizon iPhone Rumors as Factual News Stories
Take a look at these headlines:
- Wall Street Journal: Apple Readies Verizon iPhone
- Forbes: With iPhone in the Works, Verizon Stock Takes Advantage
- All Things D Apple Prepping Verizon-Ready CDMA iPhone for 2011 Launch
- Huffington Post: Verizon iPhone Release Set For Early 2011, WSJ Reports
- IT World: Apple, Verizon Wireless make (inevitable) iPhone deal
- UPI: Report: Apple plans Verizon smartphone
Looking at that list, you would think Apple announced something regarding the iPhone today.
Thing is, they didn’t.
The WSJ story set the Internet’s pants on fire this morning about a Verizon iPhone. Here’s the crux of it:
Verizon Wireless has been meeting with Apple, adding capacity and testing its networks to prepare for the heavy data load by iPhone users, according to one person familiar with the matter.
Mind you, this product hasn’t been seen in the wild or announced. By anyone. Yet the entire world is reporting it as fact. No one from Apple or Verizon has confirmed such a product exists. It’s a mythical product, yet the stock of at least two companies have bounced around today because of an unnamed source.
One unnamed source — even in the WSJ — does not a product make.
Rumors aren’t news. Speculation — no matter if it proves to be accurate in the long run — isn’t reality.
Journalists, get your act together. Pay attention to the words you use. This wouldn’t be an issue if you used words like “reportedly” every once in a while. You can’t report something as fact until it is a fact. I’m pretty sure they cover that in the first session of Reporting 101.
While I’m sure the boys and girls in Cupertino have a CDMA iPhone in the works, reporting that as fact isn’t a responsible move.
Sidenote: The WSJ also says:
Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the phone.
Imagine that, a company is working on a future product. My guess is that other companies are also working on future products, as crazy as that sounds.
Another non-news item.
Way to go, tech journalists. Another home run.
About The Author
Stephen Hackett, formerly a Lead Mac Genius at Apple, now spends his days supporting the IT innards of a large non-profit in Memphis, TN. He writes about Apple, design and journalism at forkbombr.net. Like all twenty-somethings, you can find him on Twitter. Oh, and he has a dogcow tattoo.