Protected: Journalistic Updates

Last Updated: 9/16/22

ALL WRITER'S: Please read these very important journalistic guidelines from Michael.


1️⃣ Not everyone that responds to a HARO is actually an expert; in fact, most of the people on HARO are not even who they say they are they are PR people trying to get links to their clients.


2️⃣Bloggers might be experts, but they usually are not; if they haven't actually done the thing they wrote a post about, they are probably just trying to rank content in Google.

Just because they wrote about a topic previously does not mean they are an expert for our purposes. For example, I can write a post about selling Onlyfans, but that would not make me an expert that should be quoted in an article. I am probably a credible source of content about blogging


3️⃣If the person does not have a full name, first and last, they probably are not an expert, ie Tim at If Tim doesn't have a first and last name, then he is just some random dude, who may to may not even really exist. Even if you are supplied with a full name you need to ensure he actually exists.

Some creatives and people in certain professions may use a pen name or fictitious name for certain reasons, it's your responsibility to make a judgment call and determine if your person is legit or not. Obviously, a sex worker is not going to give you their real name, but a CPA that won't tell you who the hell they are that's pretty weird, right?


Note: people make stuff up on the internet and not just small spam blogs but big sites like LendEDU make up this fake person to get HARO features

You are journalists; I expect you to do actual journalism. This means verifying the people you source quotes from are real and actual experts. When I was going to be featured on CNBC they made me submit tax returns and bank statements to prove I actually make as much blogging as I claimed.

We have a responsibility to not give credit to people who do not deserve it, not only could it harm our reputation, but scammers could use that credibility to scam others and harm them.


Next post I see with dubious reporting, I will let the writer goMichael 


Please read these two articles and then send me a message on Slack to let me know that you have read these posts and understand this policy – this applies to all writers, even those on Geek teams.

Yes, that is a bit over the top, but it's that important to me.
Drew Cloud has been quoted in stories in CNBC, The Washington Post, Fortune, The Boston Globe and other publications as a student loan expert. One problem: Cloud doesn't exist.
Apr 25th, 2018 (147 kB)
Who is “Patricia Russell”? Not a certified financial planner, for one.
Jul 29th, 2019 (102 kB)