Bloomberg reporters fought allure of company's 'troves of data'

Amy Chozick looks at Bloomberg News, which has removed its reporters' access to customer data on Bloomberg terminals, a function called UUID.

The ability to produce market-moving news had financial rewards for journalists: it was among the top metrics in determining reporters’ performance in 2012, according to a copy of the company evaluation obtained by The New York Times. The drive for market-moving news only added to the allure of tapping into the terminals’ troves of data, said several of the current and former reporters interviewed.

Peter K. Semler, who started Bloomberg’s Italy bureau in the 1990s, remembered using UUID to trace, for example, where the chief executive of Fiat had logged on. “If you see the guy in Chicago or Kansas you can guess what he’s doing,” said Mr. Semler, who left the company in 1995, and founded the financial news service Capitol Intelligence Group, which competes with Bloomberg.

“Reporters, we’re snoopy guys. We read everyone’s stuff,” Mr. Semler added. “If you had access to something you weren’t supposed to have, the first thing we’d do was go into that.”

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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