Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blogger credibility, ethics, and journalism

Blogger Influence Raises Ethical Questions (excerpted)(all emphasis added)

NEW YORK - When Jerome Armstrong began consulting for Howard Dean (news- web sites)'s presidential campaign, he thought the ethical thing to do was to suspend the Web journal where he opined on politics.

The growing influence of blogs such as his is raising questions about whether they are becoming a new form of journalism and in need of more formal ethical guidelines or codes of conduct.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 27 percent of adults who go online in the United States read blogs. And blogs have greater impact because their readers tend to be policy makers and other influencers of public opinion, media experts say.

Longtime blogger Rebecca Blood circulated guidelines that call for disclosing any conflicts of interest, publicly correcting any misinformation and linking to any source materials referenced in postings.

"It seems pretty clear to me that having some kind of standard contributes to an individual blogger's own credibility," she said.

Yet Blood knows of fewer than 10 bloggers who have adopted her guidelines by linking to the document.

When Apple Computer Inc. got court orders allowing it to subpoena bloggers for the identities of people who had leaked company secrets, two of the bloggers responded by claiming they were entitled to protect confidential sources the way traditional journalists do.

So much of this article is a flight of fancy. It would have been much more effective to have used some numbers:

How many blogs are there?
How many of them seek a higher order of credibility?
How many of them are slapping the keys for pay?
How many of them are just regular folks with something to say?
How many of them are political?
How many of them are for external personal gain?

For me, social commentary is a primary goal. I like evaluating and asking questions about what's out there, as well as interviewing myself about what's in here. I guess the latter would be anti-social commentary.

Does that make me a journalist? No. Does that make me a curious commentor on the curious? Yes.

The last thing I need is someone regulating my creative outlet. If that were to happen, tho, maybe it would get my ass painting again.


nita said...

i agree. the 'take the fun out of fucking everything' department is at work again. it's a blog, not a newspaper forchrissakes.

but, paint anyway. it's so relaxing and i totally suck at it!

Ron Southern said...

When I hear people on TV talk about blogs as the New Thing, they all mean Political Blogs. I wouldn't want to forbid people one way or the other, but it's not my impression that political blogs are the most numerous or the most popular. It's just what the boneheads on TV happen to notice. For my part, I hope the millions of blogs about "nothing in particular" manage to survive and prosper. I guess it's good to be a deadly serious politico, on a blog or not, but it isn't new. What's new about blogs is that, other than graffiti, there's never been the opportunity to display your views. Most of us are doing it for free, but it's a way of being free, and that ain't bad payment for freedom. Sorry if this is insulting to any of you political bloggers--it's just that you're not what's most new and important about blogging. All you self-important talking heads on the news shows who always think you know what's important in the world can stuff it! What's important is to churp, churp forever!

Cricket said...

You noie suckie at paintie. You longa lostie cousin of Vincent van Gogh! (Did you change that?)

My soft pastel class starts up again next week. I have to check the checkbook for a spare $120. Sucks that artists can't just make a living painting, that they have become teachers and actually charge other artists. Lawyers charge other lawyers and accountants charge other accountants, so it goes. I'm not much for capitalism, I guess.

Churp, churp forever - I love it. You made a statement better than I did with my list of questions - my point was about the power of blogs - they're in the hands of regular folks and we're multiplying like rabbits.

Ron Southern said...

Ha! I like rabbits, as long as somebody else is feeding and cleaning up after 'em! Rabbits are better than rats--I just happened to land in the other place the day I was playing poker with the Devil for blog titles.