Bloggers are mostly saluting entrepreneur billionaire Mark Cuban for backing a new journalism site aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate malfeasance. In this era of dwindling resources for investigative news, we, too, are excited to see such an investment in Web-based original content.
But the online scribes are also calling into question the Dallas Mavericks owner's disclosure that he plans to use the knowledge garnered by investigators for the site to buy and sell stocks before stories are published.
"How is it any different than the many commentators on CNBC and FOX News, Bloomberg, etc., that buy or short stocks, then regularly go on air and discuss their positions and why they took them?" Cuban told CNET News.com in an e-mail. "Isn't the smart investor the one who does their research and then makes a buy or sell decision? In our case, we will do the same thing, only we will publish why we are doing it."
It will be interesting to see if potential readers agree with his rationale once the site, Sharesleuth.com, launches as expected next month. The blog-style site was the brainchild of veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Chris Carey, who will serve as the editor and president.
Blog community response:
"The site sounds interesting enough, focusing on exposing corporate fraud, but Mark, do you really need to flaunt the fact that you intend to use this information to buy/sell stocks before the stories are published?! Jeez! Don't you already have enough money without having to manipulate the system like this? Are you really going to short the stock of a company you find dirt on, then report the news so that you can watch the price fall and make a few bucks?"
--Joe Wikert's Book Publisher, Author and Online Publishing Blog
"While many newspapers are kicking and screaming against the ever ferocious current that is the Internet, we always like to salute those who've taken their heads out of their asses long enough to realize the valuable tool that sits in front of them. Of course, we have no papers to congratulate today but Mark Cuban is backing an investigatory site devoted to shady stocks."
"I've been wondering how investigative journalism could survive in an era when the mainstream media seem cowed by the Bush administration and hamstrung by the financial interests of their corporate owners. Perhaps enterprising reporters like Carey and 'investment angels' like Cuban will help create a new model of journalism."
"Will there be info on how Cuban convinced Yahoo to waste $5.7 billion on Broadcast.com?"
--ebrandel on CNET News.com's Talkback