Interacting with Coindesk

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Avatar for Richard-M-Adrian
2 years ago

So, you’ve been contacted by CoinDesk… 

As a representative of a crypto or blockchain startup, incumbent institution or a thought leader from the investment community, academia or public policy, it’s possible you will receive emails from CoinDesk journalists with some regularity. 

We want you to know why we are reaching out, who we are and what we are doing – and what we can do together.

First and foremost, we are a news organization. We follow all norms of journalistic ethics and we are completely independent. And we want to cover you. 

But, it’s important for you or your company to be aware of our rules of engagement and how our journalists may seek to use comments or statements provided. 

The following document recounts areas of issue:

When Might We Be Contacted? 

In general, you may be contacted in one of five scenarios

  1. You or your company have made news, and CoinDesk is reaching to verify or receive a unique comment on your involvement therein.

  2. We have received information that suggests you or your company will be making news and are reaching out for more information. These are often called “rumors” but today’s rumors are often tomorrow’s news. We want to confirm what we might write is true.

  3. Your company’s expertise or market position means it’s likely to have an opinion that’s worthy of, or necessary for, inclusion in a more general feature on a specific topic or subject matter.

  4. You have given a statement to CoinDesk and are being contacted by an editor to ensure its accuracy

  5. You have acted as a source for CoinDesk in the past, and are being contacted for leads, general updates and other information.

How Long Does My Organization Have to Respond? 

CoinDesk journalists work in a fast-moving environment. This means that in some scenarios we may deem it operationally necessary to proceed without response from our subjects.

However, in this case, CoinDesk believes that companies that are the subject of our reporting should always be given the right of response.

We strive for transparency and this means CoinDesk’s journalists will denote (in the subject line of our emails) when a response may be “urgent” or “time sensitive.”

If you receive an email during the workday with the above in the subject line, CoinDesk will expect to hear a response from your organization within a reasonable amount of time. We will specify our publication deadlines in such situations. 

If you fail to respond, CoinDesk may continue with its publication, but we will mention our attempt to reach you in the article


Should you respond to our inquiry following our publication, we will update our article with the additional information. 

In this case, we may add the following disclaimer to the beginning of our article


We reserve our right to carry out the above with discretion based on the quality of response

When Are My Comments ‘Off the Record’? 

The short answer is **never** unless there is a very good business, economic, ethical or safety reason. 

The full answer is slightly more complex.

As a rule of thumb, you should always expect to be on the record with a CoinDesk journalist unless both parties agree on the terms before the interview. 

Remember: In journalistic terms “Off the Record” is the same as saying that an interview never happened. We may ask for interviews on “deep background”, which means the data will be used in the article and attributed to an “anonymous source.” If we ask you to quote on “background,” we will quote you directly but credit an anonymous source. 

Again, if you are afraid of losing your job, a big client or fear for your own safety, we will consider working with you on “deep background.” 

If you’d like to relay information you think may be sensitive, you must ask to be “off the record” and give our journalists the right to decline your request. This must happen in every instance where you would want to seek this privacy

In general, the following types of statements are on the record (unless otherwise noted):

  • Emails marked as “off the record” when no journalist has agreed to your request

  • Tweets, Facebook posts or other public social media statements

  • Statements given at a conference or event (unless the event is being held under Chatham House rules, or similar confidentiality)

  • Unsolicited commentary provided directly to CoinDesk or a CoinDesk journalist via electronic means (email, Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc).

Am I Being Recorded? 

We will always ask before we record a conversation or otherwise inform you that we may do so in an email setting up the interview. 

If you are talking to a CoinDesk journalist, expect that they will take notes.

How Are My Quotes Used?

Very carefully.
We strive for accuracy at all times. If you tell us something in an open interview, we may use it in a story. We may edit the quote for clarity and we strive not to change the core meaning of the quote.

Can I See The Article Before It’s Published?


In the US, there is no requirement or expectation to show you an article before it is published. We may reach out to confirm your quotes, but in most cases this will not happen.

May I See Quotes Before They Are Published?

You may request to receive written versions of your responses, however, this request must be approved before the interview

In certain rare instances, CoinDesk may agree to this request. Generally, this exception is reserved for instances in which a source may have not previously engaged with CoinDesk in any capacity for purposes of relation building

We will decline future requests for this exception.

Does CoinDesk Accept ‘Embargoes’? 

CoinDesk journalists are always happy to accept ‘embargoed’ news, or to agree to receive access to news and information early, so that we might better report on it when released. 

However, CoinDesk journalists must first agree to the embargo either verbally or in writing. We only agree to embargoes between Coindesk and third parties for set times. We do not agree to unspecified embargoes and we do not sign NDAs that would prohibit us from telling stories more generally speaking.

Should the information appear online in any form (publication in competing platforms, social media posts, etc), CoinDesk will consider the embargo void

Bottom line: Confirm with a CoinDesk journalist before you send embargoed news.

Can I Pay For Better Coverage?


Will the information I share be released to any other companies?
No. We are an independent company that maintains separate offices from our parent company and investors.

Can I Refuse to Talk to CoinDesk?


However, a vibrant blockchain press requires a full dialogue. We attempt to be fair and open to all comers and we need your input to maintain this dialogue.

If you refuse to speak, we will still report about the news related to you, but the story will be all the poorer without your input. Good journalism is hard and we need your help. 

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Avatar for Richard-M-Adrian
2 years ago