Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

CORRECTION: WSJ Reporter Says MSNBC Didn't Alter Article

Jun 20, 2001, 03:50 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

By Michael Hall, Editor

Retractions and corrections should get the same play as the assertion itself, so here's one from LT: Lee Gomes, the Wall St. Journal reporter who wrote regarding Microsoft's "uphill battle against Linux" says MSNBC did not remove references to Solaris in use at Microsoft despite differences in the story.

Though it was reported by a reader first on LinuxToday, The Register also picked up the story of some strange variations between a piece written by Gomes that seemed to airbrush out references to Microsoft competitors.

In the story run by the Wall St. Journal, references to the software running Hotmail read:

"Microsoft said that since last summer, Hotmail has been running on both Windows 2000 and the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems Inc.,"

In a version run by MSNBC later in the day, the sentence read:

"Microsoft said Hotmail has been running on Windows since last summer."
In a letter sent to Dave Winer, Gomes, the author of the piece, said the difference was due to two different versions of the story he wrote himself. The one that ran on the Wall St. Journal page, run later in the day, had been corrected by Gomes to include the reference to Solaris. The version that ran on MSNBC, an earlier version, had no such reference. MSNBC has since received and published Gomes' final version.

The Register's piece on the error contains some additional information on the issue, including the fact that some of the changes made were, in fact, not horribly pejorative.

Though LinuxToday's involvement in the story goes no further than bumping the story up to the top of the page and adding an italicized note to the lead, we regret any aspersions our handling of the story may have cast on the integrity of the editorial staff at MSNBC.