No longer can blogging be considered "underground journalism," subject only to the rules of the streets (like James Dean in Rebel without a Cause
). As blogs incorporate into the landscape of professional media, so too will the policy of full disclosure be expected of bloggers.
Bloggers: your time has come!Nobody's suggesting that blogs pre-full-disclosure have been a wasteland of propaganda and rumors. For awhile, they were the only place for uncovering murky truths (Smoking Gun, anyone?).
But with the success of blogs and their bloggers, as well as their celebrated adaptation into mainstream media
, the independent spirit of blogs is being compromised by the need to untangle personal opinions from professional influence.
A recent article published by Shelly Brisbin for Blogger & Podcaster Magazine
found itself at the crossroads of just this issue.
Brisbin's blog entry, titled "Known Associates," commented on news that a new trade organization representing podcasters was in the works. The trade org was sparked in part by frustrations with the still-new Association of Downloadable Media (ADM), which many believe doesn't best represent the "nascent podcast industry."
The report garnered comments that questioned Blogger & Podcaster's
relationship with the International Blogging & New Media Association (IBNMA).
Brisbin followed up two days later with answers to her readers' questions, attempting to dispel myths, suggestions or rumors to B&P's connections to ADM and IBNMA. As the IBNMA's official publication, B&P does work to generate members for them, but Brisbin maintains that her editorials "take no position in support of one industry association over another."
In principle, there's nothing wrong with the notion of full disclosure. It exists to separate professional reporters from propagandists, and to protect real journalists as well as readers.
But generally speaking, it's a little disappointing to imagine that, as Web 2.0 technologies are embraced and interwoven into the fabric of mainstream media, even with the advent of crowdsourcing
and citizen journalism, the esprit-de-coeur with which these technologies met the world doesn't seem to be influencing the policies of traditional media.
Instead, it seems as if older media is trying to reshape new media to fit its molds.
Is there a gray area to this or are we looking at two black-and-white models on separate ends of a spectrum? Chime in