Holding bloggers accountable

There has always been a fine line between journalism and their advertisers.  It is not an easy line to draw in the sand.  You don't want to write bad things about your blood supply but on the other hand, I believe there should be honesty and transparency.

Today, in the NY Times, there was an article about bloggers who are given products and basically only praise the ones they like and choose not to write about the ones they don't like.  Again, who wants to bite the hand that feeds them.  Certainly if a company has backed and created a product it is hard to hear that it isn't what it is cracked up to be from a blogger.  Particularly a blogger that is getting freebies from a company hoping that they praise the product and reach the variety of niche markets out there.

I believe I have been transparent, but maybe I haven't.  I get a few books a month from publishers that I read and review.  Sometimes I just post the book in my blog roll and other times I write a longer post.  Some books I haven't even bothered with because I couldn't get thru them but if I read the product, I say what I think.  Figure it isn't worth saying, "hey I got this book and it was awful and couldn't get past the second chapter" or maybe it is.

I get a shipment from Foodzie every month to review products.  Some good, some great, others just ok and I have tried to give my opinion for what its worth to who ever reads my posts.

The blogging community has really created niche markets for themselves that advertisers are interested in targeting.  Makes total sense.  If 10 people buy a book because I recommended it, that makes a market and these days that is fantastic for any company.

Not sure how bloggers are held to a standard of morals that are applied daily in the world of journalism (although the Washington Post surely pushed that enveloped recently) but I hope that I do.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Lisa Williams

    Whether or not bloggers are held to the same standards as those in a given profession, I’m sure you want to act in a way that comports with your own standards. So why not write a disclosure statement?It doesn’t have to be as boring as it sounds, either.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Interesting thought. I generally just start the post off writing that I gotthis book from a publisher in the mail or this is my monthly foodzie orderto review.

  2. CCjudy

    to protect yourself I suggest talking to your lawyer so your blog has the right disclosures and neither too much or too few J