An investigation by Breaker, a magazine about blockchain, found that more than half the crypto media outlets they contacted were willing to accept money in exchange for coverage masked as objective journalism. The magazine set up a fake email account and pretended to be a PR agent, asking outlets how much it would cost to have them cover an ICO and not disclose to readers that the content had been paid for. Of 22 outlets that responded, 12 said yes, in some cases asking for as little as $500 or less.
In fairness, some of the sites named in the article would hardly qualify as news outlets. But some have said they reach over a million readers per month. Breaker’s conclusions speak to both the scale of unethical activity in the crypto sector and the risks of trusting information about crypto investments from unverified sources.
Also, for the record, this cryptocurrency reporter didn’t receive any requests for coverage from Breaker’s fake PR agent. And it hopefully goes without saying that such a request would have been rejected.