Andrew Ross Sorkin Wants His Press Releases, Dammit!

sorkin092508 0 Andrew Ross Sorkin Wants His Press Releases, Dammit!In last night’s DealBook (or rather “Dealb%k“) column, The New York Times‘ Andrew Ross Sorkin wonders whether the Securities and Exchange Commission is undermining corporate transparency by allowing companies to post market-moving information (quarterly earnings, for example) on their websites instead of distribute it through more traditional means like press releases. Says Sorkin:

If every company were to release all of its market-moving news only on its Web site, investors would have to traipse around the Internet in search of the market-moving information. It’s one thing for a news organization to have a scoop; it’s quite another for a company to actively keep the news on its own site.

This concern seems predicated on the assumption that information posted to a company’s website remains confined there for a materially significant amount of time — as though news organizations don’t task reporters with monitoring company websites and promptly disseminating the information.

According to Bill Koefoed of Microsoft, Sorkin’s case study for the supposed lack of transparency, many Microsoft investors “subscribe to the RSS feed.” We recommend that any journalists tracking publicly traded companies do likewise.

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor