Wording; a rant

There's a service called 'Help a Reporter Out' or HARO for short. It's a daily email service that aggregates and sends out lists of requests from journalists looking to write about a specific topic.

One of their emails

It's a pretty simple idea for a service but a powerful way to connect journalists who want to promote their service.

I glance at it every now and again and have had some success getting covered. It's usually too overwhelming to look at consistently.

Today I came across this headline;

Summary: Cryptocurrency Experts (Real Ones)

I won't name the publication but this is what they were looking for;


Cryptocurrency investors and experts. What's your favorite cryptocurrency and why?


Investors, economists, blockchain specialists, advisers, tech, etc.

It's a reasonable request and I might normally write in. But the title seemed unnecessarily antagonistic. It sounds like they have a very clear idea of who is a (real) expert and who is a (fake) expert. Yet the requirements given aren't very clear.

What counts as an investor? What's a specialist? What does tech mean? What's etc!? It's ridiculously ambiguous for a supposedly exclusionary set of terms.

I suspect what they mean exclude is they don't want any retail day-traders, armchair economists, and average joes who have read a whitepaper or two. So what they're really looking are professionals. People who earn money with crypto at a semi-institutional level.

Perhaps a more reasonable title would be something along the lines of;

Looking for cryptocurrency professionals (institutional investors, economists, ICO advisers, blockchain developers)

It might require a bit of iteration but it's more precise and less offensive.

Maybe it's odd that I find it offensive, I'm an institutional investor after all. I'd certainly qualify as a (real) expert, at least I think I would. The criteria isn't quite clear.

Journalists always talk about hating having their time wasted. Presumably, that's why they only wanted (real) experts to write in. But that headline doesn't solve the problem.

Well defined criteria save both sides time. Maybe they don't atually want institutional investors writing in. Maybe they only want retail ICO punters. The point is I don't know. So I won't bother writing in, in case I waste my time.

(Real) journalists are experts with words. Precision should come naturally, how else can you convey complex ideas to readers without ambiguity? If they can't get the pitch headline right then I've little confidence they can get the article right.