Here is a statement of my ethics and coverage policies. It is more than most of you want to know, but, in the age of suspicion of the media, I am laying it all out.
My area of coverage is, broadly, consumer technology, with a focus on new tech product developments and technology trends and issues. I am not responsible for business coverage of technology companies. I don’t offer investment advice. I focus on products and services, not revenues and earnings.
I work for Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret, who oversee my work, as well as Kara Swisher, the Co-Executive Editor of this site.
I don’t accept any money, or anything else of value, from the companies I cover, or from their public relations or advertising agencies. I either use funds from our company or my own money when purchasing all devices I use for my day-to-day use, such as computers, software, digital media players, cameras, as well as my Internet service, mobile phone service, and cable-TV service. I also don’t accept trips, speaking fees, or product discounts from companies I cover or from their public relations or advertising agencies. I also don’t serve as a consultant to any companies, or serve on any advisory boards.
On occasion I make appearances on television and Web video shows, for which I receive no additional compensation from either my employer or the media companies facilitating the appearances.
The tech products I review are typically lent to me by their manufacturers for a few weeks or months. I return any products I am lent for review, except for items of minor value that companies typically don’t want back, such as a small accessory or an app download. In the case of these items, I either discard them or give them away, or they remain on my desktop or mobile phone.
Companies sometimes brief me in advance on new hardware, software, or Web sites. But there is absolutely no exchange of a positive coverage for the advance access to the product. I repeat, there is never a guarantee of favorable coverage. If I want a product I cover for my own use, I buy it for myself, at normal prices, or my employer does.
I never coordinate my coverage with our advertising sales staff, and don’t solicit or sell ads for the newspaper or Web site. AllThingsD’s separate ad sales staff does this. Advertisers and companies whose products I cover don’t get to see my posts in advance, or to select or reject topics.
In terms of investments, I have investments in group funds, which are managed without my input primarily by an investment firm, and they might from time to time put my money into funds that buy shares of stock in the companies I write about. But I do not have any knowledge about when they buy and sell any shares. I also have several general stock-index mutual funds related to my former employment at Dow Jones, but none is specifically technology-focused, although any one might, from time to time, acquire shares in some technology companies I write about. In this case, as with all my investments, I also have no knowledge of when they buy and sell any shares.
I don’t own a single share of stock in any of the companies whose products I cover.
Beyond these policies, I also abide by the Dow Jones Code of Conduct, which can be found here.