Thursday, September 21, 2006

Blog ethic

Fact: Bloggers are becoming as influential as reporters. So when do they cross the threshold of citizen journalist and become de facto journalists? From what I can tell, many bloggers would be insulted to be called reporters.

Are we entering a journalistic/PR no man's land? What ethical considerations apply to bloggers?

Should Bloggers check facts?

My experience is that PR departments do not respond to Blogger requests.

Bloggers have to find another way.

Should bloggers seek a second source. Yes.

Should Bloggers only use reliable sources e.g. BBC, CNN Company bloggers? No. But it helps and then second and third sources are even more important.

Dan Geenfield asks about

...a news story run about your company, but the reporter never contacted your company for a comment. Makes us mad and clients mad. Journalists should know better we say.

But how about when bloggers post a comment about your company or pull comments from a company blog without contacting the PR department? Are we still as angry? My guess is probably not.

Would we still be as mad if the blogger was also a mainstream reporter or represented a mainstream publication? Madder yes, but as mad as a “pure reporter?”

So, this is a two ways street but having PR capacity and capability to respond is hard. There is a need to read past posts from the blogger and each one needs on-on-one handling.

I posted this story which has stock market implications with only two sources (BBC and Reuters) and was the first blogger to do so within an hour of the first report. It was tempting to go live without a second source.

I did not even try Yahoo and Facebook... but it was an option and I would hold out little hope of a response.

Bloggers are different - they are also easy to ignore - todate.