Journal Gazette Gets it Wrong on Bitcoin

Fort Wayne’s Journal Gazette shows us once again how deficient our current Fourth Estate is. Journalists, whether they be on TV or writing in magazines or newspapers are reasonably expected to know something about what they are reporting on, or find someone to fill them in if they don’t.

Now, in this case, the author of the piece we’re taking aim at today is not really at fault. The piece she wrote has a definite anti-bitcoin bent as it focuses on the ‘hacks and drugs’ reputation much of the media likes to present about Bitcoin. I might disagree with the tone of her article, but it’s not factually inaccurate. She talks about the hack of Bitstamp, cite’s Bitstamp’s response, then brings up Mt. Gox, drugs and Bitcoin’s sagging price before rounding out with a comment about the current regulatory uncertainty faced by Bitcoin businesses.

No, what really caught my eye was the title: Exchange’s move a blow to Bitcoin. Why? Because at the time this article went to press, Bitstamp has already restarted their exchange to the collective relief of thousands of bitcoiners the world over. In the hours after their restart, reports began to fly that trades are indeed working and that withdrawals are indeed being processed. Bitstamp has done a proof of reserves as many in the community have wanted, but their actions so far stand in stark contrast to the travesty that was Mt. Gox a year ago. Rather, there is growing opinion that if you are unfortunate enough to have your exchange hacked, this is the way that you want them to respond.

Andrea Peterson’s original piece, “Bitcoin had a terrible 2014. And 2015 isn’t looking too hot either,” published on January 6th is a reasonable effort to portray what was going on with Bitcoin at that moment. The Journal Gazette’s piece, “Exchange’s move a blow to Bitcoin,” by contrast is a lazy hit piece by virtue of the fact that it was cut and paste after the details it described had ceased to be true. For this, the Journal Gazette deserves to be shamed.

We at Bitcoin Warrior have no problem with the media informing people about weaknesses and dangers in Bitcoin they exist and need to be addressed. Further, the public, when they start using Bitcoin, should be fully informed about what it is they are using and how to use it both to best affect and safely.

There is no excuse, though, for lazy copy-and-paste reporting when a simple search will reveal the truth. And this is why it is best to take everything one reads in the papers and sees on TV with a grain of salt.