Adam L. Penenberg (born July 27, 1962) is a U.S. investigative journalist and editor, best known for his role in the affair surrounding the The New Republic reporter Stephen Glass in 1998. Currently he is the editor of PandoDaily, a technology news site.
Stephen Glass scandal
In the summer of 1998, Penenberg, then a reporter with Forbes magazine's online arm, Forbes Digital Tool, came upon a story in TNR about a Silicon Valley firm which was hacked by a teenager, then hired the hacker as a security consultant. Amazed that TNR had somehow managed to scoop Forbes, Penenberg tried to verify it. Penenberg could not find any evidence that the company, Jukt Micronics, even existed. He also could not verify any of the events that Glass claimed resulted from the hacker's hiring, such as a radio spot from concerned Nevada state officials or several joint state efforts to combat hacking. After an internal TNR investigation determined Glass had made up the story out of whole cloth, TNR fired him.
As of 2005 Penenberg is an assistant professor of journalism at New York University. He is also a freelance writer for Fast Company, the New York Times, Forbes, Wired News, and Playboy. His non-fiction book Tragic Indifference: One Man's Battle With the Auto Industry Over the Dangers of SUVs which deals with the biggest product liability case in history, the Ford and Firestone controversy, was published in 2003 and is currently being made into a movie.
In 2009, Penenberg authored the book Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves. Viral Loop explains how companies such as Netscape, eBay, PayPal, Skype, Hotmail, Facebook, and Twitter implemented viral loops to grow exponentially and achieve billion-dollar valuations in only a short amount of time. The book is divided into three sections including viral businesses, marketing, and networks.
In popular culture
- Penenberg, Adam L. Lies, damn lies, and fiction. Forbes, May 11, 1998
- Penenberg, A., Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves, 2009, Hyperion Press "Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves"
- Adam Penenberg's Official Website
- Adam Penenberg's famous Forbes' online article, Lies, damn lies and fiction which reveals Stephen Glass' fabrication
- Penenberg's faculty page
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