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The Verge's Deputy Editor Chris Ziegler Was Secretly Working For Apple For Two Months (gizmodo.com) 80

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Late this afternoon, Nilay Patel, the editor-in-chief of The Verge, published a post detailing the circumstances around the departure of Chris Ziegler, a founding member of the site. As it turns out, according to Patel, Ziegler had been pulling double duty as an employee of both The Verge and Apple. "The circumstances of Chris' departure from The Verge raised ethical issues which are worth disclosing in the interests of transparency and respect for our audience," Patel wrote. "We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues, but they are still serious enough to merit disclosure." According to Patel, Ziegler, whose most recent post was published in July, began working for Apple in July but didn't disclose his new job; The Verge apparently didn't discover he'd been working there until early September. Patel noted that Ziegler continued to work for The Verge in July, but "was not in contact with us through most of August and into September." What's not clear is how The Verge leadership went six weeks without hearing from their deputy editor or taking serious action (like filing a missing person's report) to try to find him. Patel says they "made every effort to contact him and to offer him help if needed." Patel noted the obvious conflict of interest, and added that Ziegler was fired the same day they verified his employment at Apple. "Chris did not attempt to steer any coverage towards or away from Apple, and any particular decisions he helped make had the same outcomes they would have had absent his involvement," Patel wrote. However, it's still unclear how exactly the team at Vox Media, The Verge's parent company, ascertained there was no editorial consequences from the dual-employment. You can read Patel's full statement here. Vox Media's Fay Sliger followed up with a statement to Gizmodo: "Chris is no longer an employee of The Verge or Vox Media. Chris accepted a position with Apple, stopped communicating with The Verge's leadership, and his employment at The Verge was terminated. Vox Media's editorial director Lockhart Steele conducted an internal review of this conflict of interest, and after a thorough investigation, it was determined that there was no impact on editorial decisions or journalism produced at The Verge or elsewhere in Vox Media. We've shared details about this situation with The Verge's audience and will continue to be transparent should any new information come to light."
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The Verge's Deputy Editor Chris Ziegler Was Secretly Working For Apple For Two Months

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  • Of the "I'm too cool to respond to you" generation, and the "we're too cool to panic about your status" management style.
    Normal employment policy is credentials are immediately revoked when any employee does not respond to login/status requests for over 3 business days. But don't let the cool kids tell you that's reasonable to enforce on important people.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Meh, why are right winger endlessly crying about EVERYTHING as if one or a few examples are indicative of an entire generation.

      The simple truth is that this isn't the first time someone quit without notice of any form. It's usually, but not always, an indication of a hostile work environment and sometimes there is an informal declaration or argument which precedes. I've never done anything like that, but I've seen it, especially in places where they fire people summarily anyways.

  • It seems to be:

    Person P stops doing work for Company A and starts working at Company B. Management at Company A has no clue. When they figure it out they see that the work Person P did for them was not related/influenced by Person P's relationship with Company B

    What is the news in that story that requires a 400 word summary?

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      What's the story? Shitty person engaged in unethical conduct with no disclosure. Also Vox Media investigates self, finds no conflict of interest or did anything wrong. And legally, they're required to now add disclaimers stating as such.

      Gotta remember this is /., where RTFA is difficult...

      • This is about ethics and transparency in tech news reporting, so of course there will be outrage all around.

        • Wake me up when any of these bloggers demonstrate ethics. They're FAR too interested in posting things meant to gain clicks and ethics is somewhere down the ladder below "feed the dog" in terms of importance.

          Not only that but they tend to be PROUD of not having to act like real journalists with sources and confirmations and ethics and an editor to answer to. None of that stuff matters or has ever mattered to most bloggers, and yet they demand press credentials to events and get them, companies like Apple

  • Verge and Vox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Saturday September 24, 2016 @09:59AM (#52953021)

    "We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues

    Daily Kos (aka Vox) was always a blog, it has nothing to do with journalism.

    • Re:Verge and Vox (Score:5, Interesting)

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Saturday September 24, 2016 @01:29PM (#52953805)

      "We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues

      Daily Kos (aka Vox) was always a blog, it has nothing to do with journalism.

      I'm not sure why you talked about Daily Kos except for the fact that they're both left online news resources.

      They're completely different outfits.

      As for Vox, I've been reading it a decent amount and I'd consider them journalism. They're not investigative journalism, they don't send reporters digging through old court records to dig up scandals, but it's still journalism.

      They mostly do analysis, interviews, and long-form essays. It definitely comes with a wonkish highly progressive centre-left viewpoint (ie, they're big Clinton fans), but it's a valuable resource for understanding the world.

      There are slightly bloggy aspects as well, but I don't think that's a bad thing (as you imply). The weakness in traditional journalism is it gets myopic by focusing on what just happened and losing the larger context. Vox's objective seems to be tracking issues long term while adding context and analysis.

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        I'm not sure why you talked about Daily Kos except for the fact that they're both left online news resources.

        Other than the fact that Daily Kos and Vox were both founded by Markos Moulitsas there's no connection at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I stopped clicking those links the day they had an article entitled "I Don't care If You Landed a Spacecraft On A Comet, Your Shirt Is Sexist And Ostracising." It's not even worth printing out to place at the bottom of your bird's cage.

  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by irrational_design ( 1895848 ) on Saturday September 24, 2016 @10:35AM (#52953145)

    I don't even expect the New York Times or the editors/journalists that work for it to be ethical, why in the world would I be expected to be outraged that a website I've never heard of has unethical editors/journalists working for it? Is anyone seriously surprised by this? What is the news story?

  • Anand was an Intel and Apple fanboi but at least he left his own site before he moved to Apple.
    • Honestly, it could have been a similar situation. Anand started to become extremely heavy handed towards apple products for about a year or two before he left to work for Apple. His reviews on apple products become quite intolerable, and were often apologetic of any issues and was even starting to use fluff words like "magical" in those reviews. This seemed to unfold shortly after they busted open antennagate debacle. There was a lot of debate in article comments that Anand lost his perspective for a good

  • The family story went like this; a company (company A) my Grandfather worked as an engineer wanted a better understanding of what the competitor (company B) as doing.

    Company A had my grandfather apply at company B as a watchman (yes, what an ironic title). As a result he wandered around and sketched and took notes of everything. People at company B just thought he was doing a great job; however, for reasons no one at Company B ever understood, their competitor suddenly began to duplicate their processes.

    The

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I disagree. I stopped visiting the site a while back as it seemed most of the headlines that popped up on Daily Rotation were written by Apple fanbois. Please stop telling me that a company that has less than 14% of the smartphone market is poised to take over the market with their next product. If I want to read that crap I'll visit Forbes.

    The Verge should remove all of his content.

  • The Apple biased reviews, too much focus on form over function is typical of that web site.
  • "Several little birdies" have told John Gruber of daringfireball.net that Ziegler is not in the current Apple company directory. Ziegler's Twitter account has been silent for six weeks or so.
  • Dude has cool job with friends with low pay. Dude get a good job at apple and all of a sudden is busy. Internet smears.
  • If I was that Ziegler fellow I'd be consulting a lawyer. Spouting that shit publicly, verges (ha!) on defamation.

    I'm not saying what Ziegler was right, although in this day and age, one should show very little loyalty to any corporation because they basically claim "people are our most precious resource" but treat employees like shit.

    I've seen staff where I worked, take a few weeks off or take a leave of absence. What they do, is try another job and see if it suits them. They quit the original job, or th

  • When Apple have to pay "journalists" real salaries to do their advertisement for them and can't just bribe them with Apple hardware like they usually do.

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