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   Re: Washington Post column on Ballmer

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  • From: Erika Meyer <erika@seastorm.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 15:09:09 -0700

We need to start viewing reporters more critically.  To say "he's 
non-technical" is not an excuse, but it is a factor.

I've followed PBS and print news reporting of Microsoft issues and 
most of these journalists barely understand the difference between an 
application and an operating system, much less what XML is.

And many journalists seem to think Microsoft created heaven and 
earth.  I don't know why they think that, but they do.

In general, journalists do make mistakes, even misquoting or 
misrepresenting people and situations.  The problems come when people 
assume that everything journalists write is accurate, and jump to 

We should all be skeptical of what we read & hear even (especially) 
in mainstream media.


>On Mon, 8 May 2000, Andrew Layman wrote:
>  > > > In today's Washington Post ...
>  >
>  > > >   Ballmer hopes to build Microsoft's new identity partly around a
>  > > >   computing language known as XML. Invented several years ago by two
>  > > >   Microsoft technologists,
>  >
>  > I've checked.  Ballmer never said that.  He merely stressed Microsoft's
>  > early support for XML.  The reporter is not a technical guy and he made a
>  > mistake.
>I appreciate your checking (I imagine we all do), and I'm relieved to
>know that Microsoft is not claiming to have invented XML.  I'm a little
>puzzled by the last sentence, though.  What would technical expertise
>(or lack of it) have to do with a reporter's responsibility to check the
>non-technical facts that he's reporting (such as who, if anyone,
>deserves credit for an invention)?
>Bob Kline


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