Categories Technology

Get your act together: ‘Media watchdog’ Elon Musk warns journos

It seems Tesla (TSLA) chief Elon Musk has a solution to every social problem, and he approaches each of them from a unique perspective. After leaving the business world awestruck with his outlandish entrepreneurial initiatives, Musk is now shifting focus to media.

Musk feels media houses, in general, have lost their credibility – something every American would agree with – and wants to set up his own company to rate journalists. Of late, the billionaire businessman has been getting a lot of media attention, and one cannot miss the negative undertone in some of the reports.

The idea is to launch a website for citizens to rate “the core truth of any article,” thereby assigning credibility points to the reporters. The portal will be christened “Pravda,” the Russian word for “truth,” which is reminiscent of a newspaper with the same name that was popular in the erstwhile USSR.

The fact that Musk was irked by media criticism about a botched earnings call this month casts doubts that his latest outing could be a knee-jerk reaction to those reports. As usual, the SpaceX founder used Twitter as the medium to announce his plans to clean up the media by making journalists accountable for their professional behavior.

The idea is to launch a website for citizens to rate news articles and assign credibility points to journalists

Meanwhile, being used to Musk’s superficial proclamations, such as the recent bankruptcy claim and candy company project, the market is taking his latest announcements with a pinch of salt.

“The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them,” read one of the tweets. However, in one of the tweets Musk sounded empathetic to the journos, who according to him are under the pressure of losing jobs if they fail to get the required number of ‘clicks’ and earn advertising revenue.

With a comparison between Tesla, which does not advertise, and fossil fuel car companies that spend a lot on advertisements, Musk made clear what he was trying to establish.

The highlight of Musk’s campaign was a Twitter poll that received an overwhelming response, with nearly two-thirds of the 680,000-odd participants supporting the idea. He went to the extent of urging media firms to promote the poll so that he might scrap the idea.

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