A deputy editor at The Verge took a job at Apple while still employed at the tech blog, according to a note posted by The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel.
On Friday, the news organisation revealed that Chris Ziegler, a founding member of The Verge, had been working for Apple since July, but didn’t tell anyone about his dual employment.
“Obviously having an Apple employee on The Verge staff is a conflict of interest,” Patel acknowledged in the note.
Ziegler had actively worked on stories throughout July while also employed by Apple. After he fell silent in August, The Verge tried to get in touch with him since they were “in the dark and concerned for Chris”.
It wasn’t until early September that The Verge verified that Ziegler had been employed at Apple the whole time and promptly terminated his employment from The Verge and parent media company, Vox, the same day.
The Verge says an independent editorial review found it “did not have any impact on editorial decisions or journalism produced at The Verge or elsewhere in Vox Media.”
“Chris did not attempt to steer any coverage towards or away from Apple, and any particular decisions he helped make had the same outcomes they would have had absent his involvement,” the editor’s note reads.
During Ziegler’s time at The Verge, he wrote primarily about cutting-edge car technology, including rumours about the Apple Car. His last post on the site about BMW’s self-driving car efforts is dated July 1.
Vox Media did not respond to questions regarding how far back the editorial review went, how it was discovered he worked at Apple, or why he was kept on payroll after not showing up for work. Instead, the company’s statement pledged to “continue to be transparent” if new information is discovered:
“Chris is no longer an employee of The Verge or Vox Media. Chris accepted a position with Apple, stopped communicating with The Verge’s leadership, and his employment at The Verge was terminated. Vox Media’s editorial director Lockhart Steele conducted an internal review of this conflict of interest, and after a thorough investigation, it was determined that there was no impact on editorial decisions or journalism produced at The Verge or elsewhere in Vox Media. We’ve shared details about this situation with The Verge’s audience and will continue to be transparent should any new information come to light.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple blogger John Gruber said his sources cannot find Ziegler in the company directory, so it’s unclear whether he remains employed by Apple at this time.
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