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When News crosses that line to Gossip… OpEd



Recently there has been a big push in Android news that “news” sites are getting exclusive information on new devices or products “going” to be launched in future. These sites claim to have an “insider” who has sent them info on said product, such as the Droid X2 or Droid 3, (which I might  add the Droid2 was quickly taken off shelves for the Droid 2 Global). So how is it that  these “news” sites keep posting these articles and calling them news when they are  not. They should call them what they are, which is just rumors and gossip I don’t get?

I don’t blame the owners of the sites, just the sites, as like any website owner they are in it for page views. Who I blame are the editors who allow such articles to be posted since they have the final say.  It’s not  just  Android news sites that are the only one’s who do this, but major one’s like Boy Genius who reported to have the first pictures of the Samsung Vibrant 4G for T-Mobile.  Which was not only  incorrect but other sites like Engadget picked it up and ran it without fact checking. Not to mention  the hundreds of  other Android sites that take what Engadget, and Boy Genius says as gospel. But its not just “stories” in which someone sends a website “scoops” to its that the sites see something and run with it.

I can’t remember it off top of head but I know one of our great readers will find the link and post it in the comments but Engadget ran a story of. I believe it was a Samsung phone running 2.3 way back before 2.2 was even out, and it comes to find out it was just the Mui Rom on a phone that another Chinese company used in there advertising to sell a phone.

While I don’t claim to be above anyone else when it comes to journalism seeing how I didn’t go to college or write for a major news site, I did own a website in which did news and was always sent “scoops”. However I never ran with them at all because the fact that while I did want to be the number 1 Android news site out there, I didn’t want to risk sending out the wrong information to have it only come back to me as wrong.

Many people who follow me on Twitter know that I’ll go after not only sites who post bogus “news” stories but also companies who try and cheat people. I know my word isn’t going to change a nation just hopefully it opens someone’s eye and they pass it on and the word spreads that way. I know Android news sites wont always post the source why should they help out another website in which they got there news from? Or why should they second guess an “insider” who is giving them information that no one else has so they can be first.  Just keep in mind an “insider” isn’t a part time employee at the T-Mobile kiosk in your local mall, most of the time we know more than them if we aren’t them in the first place. There is a fine line between news and gossip I agree, but where sites show there colors is where you can trust that you’ll receive news or gossip while visiting said site.

This post isn’t made to call out a specific site or company but to hopefully open peoples eyes as to what are real news sites and what are just gossip sites pretending to do news. Someone making up a name on a site as a Samsung worker posting a long post about how they charge carriers to do upgrade isn’t news its just gossip unless they show internally sheets stating as much. So Engadget next time you want to run a story please check your facts before you are next to the Enquirer on the NewsStand.

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About the writer. Brent F is our west coast event reporter. In addition he used to own his own website.  Brent F is the founder of a new app development company

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