On Wednesday, the top item on Techmeme‘s influential news aggregator site was by re/Code’s John Paczkowski:
On Friday, in the same space, another story by Paczkowski:
And with that, three dozen tech reporters pivoted.
News sites that had jumped on Wednesday’s rumor were now shooting it down with Friday’s. After all, it was Paczkowski’s original Aug, 5 report — correct, as it turns out — they had been citing for three weeks in their walkups to the Sept. 9 Apple event. (See Anatomy of a rumor.)
It’s been some time since a mainstream tech journalist has wielded this kind of power. One thinks of John Markoff at the New York Times, Steven Levy at Wired, Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal.
According to his Wikipedia entry, Paczkowski, 45, got his big break in 1999 writing “Good Morning Silicon Valley” for Knight Ridder and The San Jose Mercury News. In 2007 he signed on with Mossberg and Kara Swisher to report for AllThingsD, a Wall Street Journal spin off. He stuck with Mossberg and Swisher when they parted ways with the Journal in January 2014 to launch re/Code.
With this week’s reporting he’s either sealed his reputation, or put it — and re/Code’s — on the line.
We’ll find out Tuesday Sept. 9.