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Who Links Here

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Bloggers and the MSM
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:33 am

There is something rather disingenuous about the following NYT piece: Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign.

What I find problematic is that it suggests that the print and broadcast media never, ever use press releases to write their stories and that they always and forevermore release all information regarding the influences that have gone into their work.

This is, of course, absurd.

The real story here, it seems to me, isn’t the disclosure habits of bloggers, but the overall fact that an actor the size of Wal*Mart sees blogging as a legitimate and worthwhile vehicle for information dissemination (and, yes, spin). Indeed, I myself have noted the degree to which members of Congress saw the blogosphere as a place to fight part of the House Majority Leader battle and publishers and filmmakers are increasingly using blogs to get their products seen by the public.

That’s the real story here, not some bloggers, *gasp* linked to some stories in the same order that some Wal*Mart rep e-mailed them to him.

I would agree that clear disclosure makes a great deal of sense, and some of the practices described in the piece are sloppy and not the way I would have handled it.

Still, the NYT seem more interested in trying to use the piece to slap down the amateurish bloggers than to get to the heart of the real story, which is the evolution of blogging, the pending death of which has been highly exaggerated.

On a personal note, I would point out that James Joyner, a blogger who has written on the Wal*Mart situation, and has received information from the sources cited in the NYT piece has long held the views he has espoused on on his blog, and at TCS, on this topic. Having known him well before either us knew what a blog was (and having had ample opportunity to discuss Wal*Mart, as we both lived in a small town at the time), I can attest to the fact that whatever tips he has received has hardly colored his views.

Indeed, like is often the case with interest groups and members of congress, smart lobbyists seek out those already sympathetic to their views, rather than trying to flip someone opposed to them.

Speaking of James, he has a lengthy round of reaction to the NYT piece Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in Its Public Relations Campaign » Outside The Beltway | OTB“>here.

Filed under: Blogging, MSM, The Press | |Send TrackBack

Outside The Beltway | OTB linked with Bloggers, Flacks, and Media Ethics Redux
Below The Beltway linked with Wal-Mart, Blogging, And Public Relations
Outside The Beltway | OTB linked with Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in Its Public Relations Campaign
PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Congressmen Reading Blogs linked with [...] ead by nine members of Congress. Interesting to see, and falls in line with my main point in my Wal*Mart PR post from the other day. Filed under: US Politics, Blogging | [...]

5 Comments »

  1. Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in Its Public Relations Campaign

    Michael Barbaro has finally published his expose revealing that bloggers have written about Wal-Mart after getting PR releases from Edelman’s Marshall Manson. Sure, the blogosphere broke the story two days ago but, then, as we know, Barbaro̵…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 10:51 am

  2. Wal-Mart, Blogging, And Public Relations

    The blogosphere is abuzz this morning over

    Trackback by Below The Beltway — Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 11:01 am

  3. Saw the story, noticed the NYT’s tone, and dismissed it. No one at the Times has read the book on blog ethics, and everyone knows the Times hates blogs, or anyone else who deem to know anything about how to do journalism who wasn’t raised in New York with an undergrad English degree from Harvard or Yale. Few of them went to journalism school, andcouldn’t hold the water of some of the best bloggers. I know, because I’ve worked for the bastards. They will never regain their agenda-setting power, but they still have their egos…

    Comment by fast2write= — Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

  4. Bloggers, Flacks, and Media Ethics Redux

    Howie Kurtz weighs in on the bloggers and P.R. firms controversy that has the blogosphere (but judging from the dearth of comments, no one else) in a tizzy. He basically agrees with most of the bloggers who have commented on the story that running wit…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Wednesday, March 8, 2006 @ 9:24 am

  5. […] ead by nine members of Congress. Interesting to see, and falls in line with my main point in my Wal*Mart PR post from the other day.

    Filed under: US Politics, Blogging | […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Congressmen Reading Blogs — Thursday, March 9, 2006 @ 10:15 am

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