Thursday, May 12, 2005

Telecom_how to report rumor

My business journalism professor told me that the rule in the stockmarket is "buy the rumor, sell the truth". So rumors are always an interesting area for reporters to cover, while it requires high skills to avoid libel.

I found a rumor on yesterday's unlinkable South China Morning Post. The story said Huawei and ZTE, both of which high-tech companies with big profit in selling telecom equipments, would be the potential buyer of Marconi Corp, a UK-based company serving equipments to giant telecom carriers.

The story is safe in saying they are potential buyers, because it is always safe to say one company is another company's potential buyers instead of just buyers. Not only Huawei and ZTE, but also other companies in the world such as Cisco, Nortel and Mortorola could also have the potential to buy Marconi. Come on, it is news and we deserve to know something new, not the unchangable theory. Unfortunately, I couldn't see any evidence to prove it is news except for a guy from Access Asia saying there is chance. BTW, I don't even know from the story what's the company Access Asia meaning or doing. Months ago, when Huawei signed a contract with Marconi to be the strategic partners, the rumor already existed because Marconi are already in a loss at that time.

All the new stuffs in the story is China. It is another Chinese-buying story that may get people's attention like Lenovo buying IBM's personal computer division. But China couldn't be reported without evidence.

BTW, the story is written by a veteran foreign reporter of SCMP and I really appreciate many story he wrote before. I have already sent a letter to him to show my enquiry. Will update his response soon.

It is a pity to see the translated story has been published as one of the top stories on today, with the headline saying "according to foreign media". Come on, Chinese colleagues, foreign media is not always right, and you have the eyes and pens to investigate yourselves.


Fons Tuinstra said...

Access Asia is a well-known research company mostly here in Shanghai, Amy, mostly British guys coming from Leeds University, so close to what is happening in the UK.
Chinese companies seem to be mostly looking for firesales of almost or fully finished western companies (like Rover, and the IBM-business Lenovo bought was also not that interesting). Too much moving at the low end of the markets to be really interesting. But then papers like SCMP would rather jump daily hypes, that is better for their sales.

Amy or koala said...

hoho, I see. Mark told me that he took my point, though he thought readers may be interested in such kind of stories.