Bloomberg’s webophobia

By Felix Salmon
May 22, 2009

Ryan Tate is quite right that there’s no way Bloomberg is going to be able to enforce the attempted ban on its journalists so much as linking to a news story from their Facebook page — although the ban is entirely in line with the company’s longstanding webophobia. Bloomberg killed its RSS feeds as long ago as 2006, and Mike Bloomberg told me as far back as 1995 that he had no interest whatsoever in going onto the web. He was always much happier being in complete control of the Bloomberg space, banning rude words on the messaging system, and so forth.

I’m sure this memo is making a lot of people at Reuters very happy, since it makes it much easier for us to compete with Bloomberg for journalistic talent. And it’s certainly not going to stop me from linking to Bloomberg articles online. Even if I risk receiving a nastygram in return every time I do so. (See the update at the bottom of the blog.) How long until Bloomberg Finally Gets It? My guess is that it’ll be a long time indeed — and certainly won’t happen while Matt Winkler is still there. A shame, for the blogosphere and for freedom of expression, but a good thing for my new employer.

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