Google and Oracle ordered to provide list of paid bloggers

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Google and Oracle ordered to provide list of paid bloggers
We noted before on PA that there were some shenanigans afoot in the press during the epic Oracle v. Google trial. Specifically, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents admitted rather late in the game that he was on the dole from Oracle, which helped make sense of the consistently anti-Android coverage that his site supplied (and continues to supply today). Apparently Judge Alsup noticed this as well, as he entered a new order this week requiring that Oracle and Google supply a list of all media outlets and bloggers they paid to generate positive coverage of the trial.

Without going into the legal issues at stake (after all, Alsup is a judge and we aren’t lawyers), we want to say that this is a refreshing step in terms of media integrity. Readers visit news sites expecting to get coverage that is reasonably fair; sure all reporters have personal biases, but there is a difference between how your personal experience causes you to look at the world and accepting payment for promoting someone in a legal battle (or any other sort of promotional coverage). People have a right to expect their reporting to be free from paid bias.

It should perhaps go without saying that individual bloggers don’t all claim to be truly independent, and we respect the right of anyone to try and make a living, but such conflicts of interest should be pointed immediately and very clearly, not hidden in posts on other topics after months of biased coverage. We look forward to seeing exactly who is on that list (regardless of whether they were in Oracle or Google’s pocket), and hope you will take notice as well.

We can already tell you one site that won’t be on the list: PhoneArena.

source: Groklaw

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