As a sports fan, I’ve come to appreciate the the many sources to follow information on my sports teams. At the same time in the age of online media, there have become many sports sites that have been havens for Fake News. What these websites attempt to do is sensationalize unsubstantiated stories and create click bait for the end user. Essentially, they twist a rumor, create a teaser, and generate fake news masked as something real.  It’s safe to say, this is the polar opposite on Cigar Coop.

Examples of this include a headline that says “Team XYZ Targeting Player ABC”. When you read the blog article you discover its some legitimate third party beat reporter who says “ABC may be a good fit for Team XYZ” and as you come to read it, there is no basis for the story. Sure the third party beat reporter might have a gut feel, but the blog author has no clue. The blog reporter twists what could be rumor, teases it with a click-bait headline, and writes a Fake News story.

To keep this article teaser free, I’ll reference Phillies Nation and the 94 WIP Sports Blog as notorious snake pits for doing this.

But the point here is these sites would be much more legitimate if they validate and connect with their sources – instead of hanging on the words of others. It’s what motivated me to create the mantra of #rumorfree and #teaserfree. The model at Cigar Coop is about having a validated story. To do that we depend on the relationships with the manufacturers to do so.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of covering news is when an exclusive is given to a media site, and then we are ignored by the manufacturer, or told by the manufacturer they committed to an embargo window to the media publication where they cannot share the story. Unfortunately, this presents a tough dilemma to the websites that cover news. Do we do something like the sports blogs that I mention where we publish an article reporting on what a third party site says, or do we wait it out for a press release and/or confirmation of the story. Many times, the latter never occurs – and in many cases waiting for the press release basically kills the story because essentially we are reporting old news.

I’ve found the approach of reporting third party does not work. While today most cigar media sites do not resort to click-bait like the sports blogs I mention, there often is incorrect information when doing third party reporting with a lack of validation – which is why we always advocate a press release to all media or at a minimum responses to a request to validate the information reported.

And the beat goes on….