Image: Tiffany Von Arnim
If you live in Seattle you're well aware of Amazon and the impact they have on just about every facet of the city's economy and growth. The New York Times story a few weeks back about what it's like to work for the online retail behemoth painted a disturbing picture that corroborated what many around town were already saying or thinking. Today, Amazon finally struck back with a Medium post called 'What The New York Times Didn't Tell You' by Amazon's senior vice president for global corporate affairs Jay Carney
Carney says that the Times either willingly made mistakes or didn't do enough homework to back up claims from former Amazon employees, many of whom had dubious distinction of their own that were never mentioned.
What we do know is, had the reporters checked their facts, the story they published would have been a lot less sensational, a lot more balanced, and, let's be honest, a lot more boring. It might not have merited the front page, but it would have been closer to the truth. If you call out the New York Times for shoddy journalism you can bet they'll respond and a few hours later executive editor Dean Baquet did just that with a Medium post of his own.
The points in today's posting challenge the credibility of four of the more than two dozen named current or former Amazon employees quoted in the story or cast doubt on their veracity. The information for the most part, though, did not contradict what the former employees said in our story; instead, you mostly asserted that there were no records of what the workers were describing. Of course, plenty of conversations and interactions occur in workplaces that are not documented in personnel files. From where we sit, the response doesn't really seem to do much to help Amazon's narrative. They wanted people to know that some former employees who said working there was a negative experience made mistakes of their own but that doesn't really explain why so many other former and current Amazon workers have similar stories.
Admitting deficiencies and showcasing new and improved processes, while showcasing happy current employees, would probably have gone over much better. Maybe even show off the good things that Amazon brings to the community and to Seattle. Instead, they tried a political tactic (Carney comes from a political background) and it only made them seem like the aggressive, apathetic entity that the original story made them out to be.
· What The New York Times Didn't Tell You [Medium]
· Dean Baquet Responds To Jay Carney's Medium Post [Medium]
· New York is Really Concerned About Seattle's Well-Being [CS]