Andy Reese decided to fire back a response to my post from Friday taking to task what I considered lazy reporting in response to a new CVM Solutions study. He titled his column “Blah Blah Blog,” a name that I chuckled at. I disagree with his points about “seeing the forest through the trees” in reporting a story and I still maintain that the means does not justify the end when it comes to reporting on news or research that is in anyway circumspect. Andy suggests that I did not contact him before writing my column, which is true. But the purpose of my post was to comment on something that was already in print -- not to interview the reporter who wrote it. However, if I got his research methodology wrong, I am sorry. It just seemed to me like he reprinted the press release and added a quotation.
In the end, Andy accuses bloggers like me of just being guys “with a computer, a domain name and an ego.” Perhaps, but if the ego is what keeps us up at night or allows us to wake up at 5:00 AM or earlier to research a story and offer opinions and set the record straight regarding the failure of traditional trade and business journalism, so be it. I have a lot of respect for Andy and his publication. But in my view, there is no way that any journalist with the proper time to research a story would have gone to press with what he had after asking a few qualifying and probing questions.
Seriously, if your consider what I learned in five minutes of talking to CVM initially and asking questions about the study (e.g., that the research was based on data that came from different time periods, that it represented a sample of the spend of companies in the actual sample and that it came from companies that were also outside the Fortune 500, despite what the press release read) then I’d still maintain that Supply and Demand Chain Executive did their readers a disservice by printing it. Honestly -- and maybe this is the egoist in me -- I just don't see how any reporter could reprint "facts" from a study that tried to build credibility by, as I wrote on Friday, "publishing very specific information on the number of suppliers (based on a partial sample over different time frames) rather than either specific information based on complete spend data sets or directional percentages with partial spend data sets over a defined period -- a big difference." If this is not a flawed research approach, I'm not sure what is. Andy, to be candid, I fail to see how you could see this any differently.
At the end of the day, even in issues as important as supply risk, I would argue that the end does not justify the means. Call me an idealist or call me stupid, but I can’t sit still when I see vendors or anyone else playing the system with a quantitative research study and getting away with it -- especially when companies stand to make decisions based on what’s being reported. And there's nothing "blah" about that.