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September 29, 2007


EW -- you said,

Robert Levick said 56% of reporters are getting their story ideas from blogs, 80% from the web. He does institutional response stuff--say, representing drug companies. So from his perspectives, the fact that the blogs are focusing on things like bad pet food, putting his potential clients behind the mark, is a bad thing. Question is, could someone from his perspective ever flip that? Could you dump enough bloggers-for-pay out there to write credible stuff that was pro-corporate? Or will it always (hopefully) appear dubious??

And WE'RE the parasitic leeches??? ahem.

On the second issue of bloggers-for-pay: remember that the political sphere is a smallish corner of the internet. The much bigger portion of the blogosphere has always been about technology, and certain corporate players have been trying to game the bloggers-for-pay for years now.

They stink. You can see them a mile off. Even the ones who pop up in comments as corporate "minders" reek. Although I will yield the point that they can gin up traffic; Robert Scoble was the biggest single example of blogger-for-pay, and even after leaving his paid blogging position still can gin up traffic (and I'm still suspicious of him any time he posts about MSFT).

Could the corporate media do better? Likely not.


Let me be clear--lots of those were my questions I'll mark them now). You're right, in tech, the fakers are already out there. Levick was pointing to things like pet food and drugs and consumer-related questions.

We have always had people taking other people's ideas, and using them as their own without attribution. Sometimes it is laziness or ineptitude, sometimes it is something worse.

With google it becomes easier to do it, but harder to hide the fact.


Thanks for your attention to the panels. A request -- I used the word "plagiarized" and immediately wished I'd said, "used without attribution." Plagiarism is a heavy charge and not one I would want to seem to have seriously levied against another reporter. Please consider editing your line about my (much longer) comments.


Erwin is right; his is a "different media issue". I might note that he played it like a fiddle too; handing out the first story to MSM about Drake's actions (when Drake undoubtedly thought it would stay private), then letting the blogosphere take flight with it. Erwin didn't have to say anything else; the meme was set. Perfect.

I appreciated the question about international comparison of reporter speech law with UK tradition. Dalglish's site published a topical report about the Dixie drift in this respect there. I think one meritorious effect of your question was its highlighting the backstory in otherwise superficial and myopic reportage. One of the vibrancies of our system of governance is even with associated justices like the linked one, above, and even with the hyperbole about secrecy and security in the modern asymmetrical conflicts as addressed by the current executive branch, there is an enduring independence of spirit in our time which will prevent sacrificing journalistic confidentiality and independence.

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