Amazon has gone on the offensive to refute a New York Times expose into its working practices claiming the piece does a disservice to the newspapers’ readers.
Writing on publishing platform Medium.com., Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs at Amazon, claims the newspaper has misled readers by not checking the credibility of sources or checking facts.
He said this is despite the company working closely for six months with reporters Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld, including a full day of interviews in Seattle with three leaders from different Amazon businesses, several background conversations and assurances from Kantor the piece would not be a list of negative anecdotes.
The article, published on August 15, claims to examine what it is like inside the etail giant with its “singular way of working”.
The journalists spoke to several named Amazon sources, including its top recruiter, plus a string of former employees of varying levels of seniority. One such employee, Bo Olson, claimed that “nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”
Carney says: “The image of countless employees crying at their desks set the tone for a front-page story that other media outlets described as “scathing”, “blistering”, “brutal” and “harsh”.
Olson’s words were so key to the narrative the Times wished to construct that they splashed them in large type just below the headline.”
Carney refutes quotes from a series of former employees and questions the credibility of several, claiming one was let go after an investigation into his working practices.
He concludes: “The next time you see a sensationalistic quote in the Times like “nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk”, you might wonder whether there’s a crucial piece of context or backstory missing — like admission of fraud — and whether the Times somehow decided it just wasn’t important to check.”