This week, a number of people have pointed out that we did not cover the DAT/C.H. Robinson partnership and suggested that not covering a press announcement between two companies was showing bias.
It is the first time we’ve ever created controversy for a story that we didn’t cover. But I also understand it’s a reflection of our role in the industry.
First off, FreightWaves competes with DAT. In reality, they are the only firm that we consider a real competitor to our SONAR platform. They are aggressive and smart. They also have an enormous amount of resources, are substantially bigger than we are and have a massive war chest.
But we only compete in one area: data.
We used to have a great relationship with them and gave them tons of earned media. In my opinion, it was unreciprocated.
But even though we had a partnership, they demanded that any mention of their data had to get approval before publishing. So we stopped writing about their data and only covered news and commentary. But even that upset them, so we stopped.
Since we compete, as a policy, we no longer cover anything (good or bad) about DAT. They only get a passing comment if they are involved in an external news item where they are not directly related.
If they wish to see this change, they have my contact information and I welcome them to reach out to clear things up. Until then, we will refrain from covering them (good or bad).
If you are looking for DAT news, our editorial competitors do a fine job of giving them coverage of their announcements.
There is a long history of media outlets managing this. In Michael Bloomberg’s autobiography, he talks extensively about the challenges of building a media business and how best to handle editorial when you compete.
This commentary originally appeared on Craig Fuller’s LinkedIn page.