Craig Silverman’s new structured approach to covering Apple

The creative new project is a good way to keep up on Apple rumors — and hold journalists accountable for anonymous sourcing.

By Bill Adair – March 11, 2015 | Print this article

The latest example of structured journalism slices and dices rumors about Apple.

The project, part of Craig Silverman’s impressive rumor-tracking on Emergent.info, is a deep dive on all things Apple. It tracks more than 70 claims about things such as the trackpad of the new MacBook, the release date of iOS 8.2 and even the amount of gold in the high-end Apple Watch.

Silverman has partnered with Fast Company magazine, which has collected the rumors in a single article. The partnership gives Silverman’s innovative work a larger audience and some business-mag cred.

Craig Silverman
Craig Silverman

Like other rumors Silverman and his team follow on Emergent, they have identified the mishmash of speculation and anonymously sourced tidbits about Apple and separated them into bite-sized claims that readers can follow as Apple makes its official announcements.

For example, some rumors about the pricing structure of the Watch have now been rated True, such as the report in AppleInsider that the stainless-steel model will cost $499-549. But others have been rated False, such as the report in TechCrunch that the gold version will cost $1,200. (Actual price: $10,000+)

Silverman’s Apple rumor tracking is a great example of structured journalism. It allows people interested in the company and its products to get the latest about what’s true, what’s not and what’s still just speculation. Because it’s structured, readers can see all the False, True or Unverified claims. 

It’s also a great way to hold journalists accountable. Assuming the project continues, we’ll eventually be able to see whether, say, MacRumors has a better record of anonymous reports than Re/code.

As of March 10, one day after the announcement, Emergent had rated 28 of the rumors False and 22 True.

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