Hands Up If You Are a Blogger…

26Jan07

Picking up drunks for a living may not sound very interesting, but that was the definition Tom Reynolds gave of his job as an ambulance driver. An ambulance driver that loves blogging, and hates citizen journalists – or rather, hates the word.

In Tom’s speech he carefully outlined the differences between “Journalists” and “Bloggers”. In a very personal, simple and humorous presentation available for download via his blog “Random Acts of Reality”, he paved the way for a discussion between him and the audience.

An audience consisting of bloggers, academics and journalists took part in the discussions and debates, introduced by Tom’s open questions concerning ‘Ethics, The Mainstream Media and Trust’.

As Tom writes on his blog today, he intended to base his speech around two real life examples of ethical concerns that had occurred in the blogging community recently. Episodes where both bloggers and the mainstream media may have stepped over the line, or at least been very close.

The first example was the FerrariGate case; where Microsoft, in exchange for a review, had preinstalled Windows Vista on laptops and given them away to a load of bloggers. The question Tom asked here was: “Aren’t bloggers supposed to be impartial”, and “Whiter than white?” when talking about trustworthiness.

The second case was regarding another blogger and a friend of Tom. Abby Lee, which isn’t her real name, but a name she uses on her blog becuase she don’t want her family to be associated with the things she writes about.

Recently a national newspaper intended to reveal the identity of her and her mother, and to publish what they called; A picture that was…

not particularly flattering and might undermine the image that has been built up around your persona as Abby Lee. I think it would be helpful to both sides if you agreed to a photo shoot today so that we can publish a more attractive image.

And…

To avoid any doubt we will, of course, publish the story as it is if we do not hear from you.

So…

Are bloggers supposed to be impartial? and whiter than white?

And do bloggers have the right to stay anonymous no matter what?

I leave the issue open for debate…

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One Response to “Hands Up If You Are a Blogger…”

  1. 1 jpb

    Surely some blogs are more impartial than others… just as some magazines are more impartial than others? If a blogger becomes ‘influential,’ then no-one should be surprised if other people try and court that influence (also, remaining entirely anonymous in this day and age is nigh-on impossible, especially if your weblog spills out into traditional media).


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