Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

WHAT ARE THE ETHICS IN THE BLOGOSPHERE?

Since the revelation last week that Armstrong Williams was paid by the Department of Labor to promote the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) it has been disclosed that some bloggers have received compensation from political candidates. Hugh Hewitt discusses some of the specifics on his blog. Blogs are starting to enter the realm of serious journalism. Some blogs get as many hits a day as some newspapers have subscribers. Additionally, while some people buy a newspaper for the entire package others may purchase just for the sports, the classifieds, the crossword puzzle, or even just the TV guide. In contrast most blogs tend to cater to a target audience. If Senator X is a Republican considering a 2008 presidential run he could easily identify blogs on the right side of the political spectrum with heavy daily readership. I believe a blog definitely has an ethical obligation to disclose to their readers if they are being compensated by Senator X or any entity with an interest in steering the blog content a specific direction. As a frequent reader of various blogs, I would want to know if I was reading the authors own opinion or if that opinion was potentially influenced by money changing hands. This bears watching.

Speaking of the Department of Labor, we are still waiting for someone to be held accountable for the poor decision to pay a commentator to push NCLB. President Bush finally spoke out criticizing the payout to Williams. However, so far it is just talk without action.

1 Comments:

Blogger chris said...

Not to muddy the water because we are both intelligent adults - but weren't we both predisposed to offer positive reviews on In Good Company simply because we were offered free tickets?

I don't know the chapter and verse but isn't there something about walking a mile in someone else's shoes?

Payola for public opinion is as old as the written word. I'm afraid that this will taint the Internet and bloggers in a way that isn't fair. People will read a blogger because their opinion makes sense and is well writen and interesting. I knew you got free tickets (a monetary windfall) but I never questioned your review because you had always been honest with your opinions.

Yes - I've been drinking tonight. Why do you ask?

Go Patriots

5:46 PM

 

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