Nilay Patel :
Today, The Verge is updating our public ethics policy to be clearer in our interactions with public relations and corporate communications professionals. We’re doing this because big tech companies in particular have hired a dizzying array of communications staff who routinely push the boundaries of acceptable sourcing in an effort to deflect accountability, pass the burden of truth to the media, and generally control the narratives around the companies they work for while being annoying as hell to deal with.
The article is a detailed look at how background works and what The Verge is looking to accomplish going forward.
What I’m curious about is how much background is a problem across all kinds of reporting. If it is an issue, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised it is, hopefully The Verge’s approach expands beyond reporting in big tech and across the whole spectrum to other companies, public officials, and so on. I’d be perfectly happy with reporters refusing to be fed bullshit.