Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, has issued a mea culpa for those staffers who used their Bloomberg Terminals to spy on Goldman Sachs workers. Winkler explained that the practice of using the Terminals to access log-in information dates back to the beginning of Bloomberg News. “There was good reason for this, as our reporters used to go to clients in the early days of the company and ask them what topics they wanted to see covered,” wrote Winkler. “Understanding how clients used the terminal was more important then.”
While Winkler didn’t say how many staffers were spying, he did admit that Goldman Sachs was right to confront the company about the Terminal use. “Our reporters should not have access to any data considered proprietary. I am sorry they did. The error is inexcusable.” He added that the function that allowed staffers to monitor Goldman Sachs has now been disabled.
Nothing helps move a bad story forward like bluntly admitting you were wrong and vowing to do better, so this is a smart move by Winkler. As long as no more complaints bubble up, we imagine this apology will go a long way toward ending the discussion.