Written by Nick Heer.

Checking in on Semafor’s Separation of Factual Information and Analysis

The awkwardly named “semaform” article format that is the main gimmick of Semafor is supposed to ensure information and analysis remain in separate buckets. So, how is that working out for them?

Here is an article from Friday by Diego Mendoza, which carries the following headline:

A fake Eli Lilly tweet drove its stock down and reignited anger over insulin prices

The opening paragraph:

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s stock price plunged Friday following a fake tweet from a Twitter Blue-verified account that claimed the company would be making insulin free.

And here is the third paragraph under the subsequent “Know More” section, which was not in executive editor Gina Chua’s breakdown, but which someone may reasonably conclude based on the way it is written that it is less of an analysis section and more about presenting context and extra information:

While it’s unclear whether the fake tweet was the culprit behind the dive, it reignited public anger against pharmaceutical companies over the high cost of insulin. Eli Lilly’s competitors also saw drops in their share prices with Denmark’s Novo Nordisk’s dropping by about 5.1% and France’s Sanofi tumbling by about 4.5%.

So the headline says this tweet “drove [Eli Lilly’s] stock down”, the first paragraph says only that the stock price fell on Friday, and just a few paragraphs later, Mendoza acknowledges the tweet may not have been related in any way since other health-related stocks dropped in value too.