I obviously wanted to be 100% sure about this before I posted a follow up post, but before I go into the details, I’d like you all to know about how we operate over here…
Yes, BGR runs rumors and information that is not always completely confirmed. That is part of the game we are in. What we and other quality sites do is research, confirm, and make our best editorial judgements before running information that is not yet confirmed. Over the past 5 years, I’ve had more exclusives in the mobile field than anyone or any site on the entire planet, and my accuracy rate has been ridiculously high. I’d guess above 95%.
It’s a knack, a gut feeling, a judgment call that you sometimes make when you are sharing valuable information that no one has ever reported on before. There have been countless, and I do mean countless things other fine writers at BGR and I have walked away from entirely. Not ridiculous tips like “the iPhone 7 has been released on Sprint and you can only buy it at Best Buy”, but rather high quality photos, or videos — things very hard to fake. And we walk away.
One recent example in memory actually is the Xbox Kinect. We had that exclusive story sent to us as an anonymous tip a day or two before Engadget published it, revealing it to the world. Someone sent to us a photo of the then unheard of motion-controlled Xbox accessory, and lightly detailed it for us. They worked at an ad agency and were filming this promo piece, so they snapped a quick photo and shot it over to us. We couldn’t independently confirm something so amazingly cool like a brand new way to experience and play video games, so we passed on running the story. Since we were the tipster’s favorite site, he sent it to us first, but still wanting to share the information, he sent it to Engadget who then ran the story. We’re not saying Engadget did a poor job from an editorial viewpoint because they might have confirmed the story with a source at Microsoft, but we specifically couldn’t, so we passed. That is just one example of hundreds on how journalists and reporters make decisions on whether to go with a story or not, and it is always better to be safe than sorry. Our reputation isn’t worth a small or large exclusive. There is no reason to burn our readers for a cheap uptick in traffic for a day or two. It is not how I or we operate, and never will be. More →