Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ethics and the Blogosphere

The decline in mainstream media subscription and viewer-ship is compensated by a tremendous growth of the Blogosphere. I wrote in my blog, The Fate of Newspapers, that serious bloggers need the big news agencies because the blogger does not have the resources to travel. Wouldn’t you know it but Al Jazeera and the tourism board for the Netherlands has solved that problem by sponsoring all-expense paid trips to bloggers to cover their events. The first question I want to ask is: Where do I sign up? Unfortunately there is a fly in the ointment, it is called ethics.

The mainstream media has well established policies designed to insulate their employees from the ethical dilemma of accepting gratuities and compensation. The MSM has the financial resources to pay the costs of travel. Bloggers don’t have the luxury of an employer paying the expenses and are faced with paying out-of-pocket or not traveling. The fact that Al Jazeera and the Netherlands are willing to pick up the expenses acknowledges the growing significance the bloggers play in the new international mechanism of media influence.

Alvin Snyder wrote an excellent piece entitled The Ethical Dilemma of Blogging for The USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Daniel Glover wrote a good piece, A Luxurious Junket For Bloggers, in Beltway Blogroll

Blogging is here to stay, and its influence is inestimable. The blogging world must adhere to at least a policy of full disclosure to its readers. And, all bloggers must be willing to call into account fellow bloggers who fail to disclose. To increase reader confidence, bloggers who accept the paid trips must strive to produce balanced pieces. We have nothing to lose but the confidence and trust of our readers. If we lose that, why bother to blog?

Hat Tip Michelle Malkin.