Being a professional journalist who blogs, as opposed to a professional blogger who attempts journalism; I tend to get on my high horse about the dangers of dubious stories in the blogosphere.

Here's an example bopping around the Internet right now.

The Consumerist (a great blog that I read all the time, by the way) is reporting this week that AT&T is quietly launching a $5 surcharge on customers in the Southeast that pay their bills by phone with a live representative. Apparantly, this new policy will go nationwide in May.

Is it true? Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe it would have been, but given the stink on the Internet maybe AT&T will back off and pretend it never had any plans to do so. Who knows?

My issue: the story is based on an anonymous AT&T employee (who calls himself "Vernon") that tipped off The Consumerist.

With one anonymous source (not substantiated by at least one more source - Journalism 101, folks), with no confirmation he (or she) is really an AT&T employee (confirmation of the source - more Journalism 101) and with no word from The Consumerist that they even attempted to get a response from AT&T (Get both sides - yet, more Journalism 101); The Consumerist posted the story on its face.

That standard of reporting is good enough for:


Broadband Reports


Howard Forums

As a consumer of news and information, is it good enough for you?