Cernovich Media, in association with Wesearchr, is offering a recurring award for instances of journalistic quid pro quos. Citizen researchers who discover an undisclosed quid pro quo will receive a $100 reward.
What is a quid pro quo? Here’s a textbook example:
Nick Bilton wrote a puff piece on Sam Biddle entitled, “Disruptions: A Blogger Mocks the Denizens of Silicon Valley.” This article appeared in the Times on August 25, 2013.
The article is here: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/disruptions-a-blogger-mocks-the-denizens-of-silicon-valley/
Sam Biddle then wrote a glowing review of Nick Bilton’s book on Gawker. The article was entitled, “Jack Dorsey Screwed His Friends at Twitter,” and it appeared on October 9, 2013.
That article is here: http://valleywag.gawker.com/jack-dorsey-screwed-his-friends-at-twitter-1442895501
The timing of these articles suggests an undisclosed quid pro quo between Bilton. In neither article did the authors disclose their reciprocal “journalistic” relationship.
I’ve deposited $10,000 into my Wesearchr account. Wesearchr will award the bounties as they come in.
Some tips to researchers: Run a Google search (or write some code) using the names of two “journalists.” You’ll be surprised by how many undisclosed quid pro quos there are out there.
Wesearchr will be managing this project. Submit your examples to them.
I realize a quid pro quo can be hard to prove without a smoking gun email, so here’s a good guideline: Find two puff pieces published by two different “journalists” about one another in close proximity to one another. A day or two is great, a year might even be close enough in proximity to establish a quid pro quo.
Email Mark at Wesearchr with your tips. He’ll award bounties on a rolling basis.