14. January 2005 · Comments Off on Money For Blogging · Categories: General Nonsense

I just want to say: I will accept money from anyone that wants to ante-up. And I am available for speaking engagements.

Of course, none of that is a guarantee of what I might write, or speak. 🙂

Update: Alen Penenberg writes in Wired on the conflicts for big-media journalists who also blog:

For all the press that bloggers have received for revolutionizing journalism by bringing Gutenberg’s printing press to the digital masses, when push comes to shove, journalists who operate personal weblogs face an inherent conflict of interest. In the end, it’s the blogs that usually get short shrift.

And according to some, that’s the way it ought to be. As Jason Calacanis, founder of Weblogs and publisher of the defunct Silicon Alley Reporter, put it in an e-mail: “Blogger + reporter = big problem. I wouldn’t do that, and I’m sure it will end in tears. I know as an editor of a magazine or newspaper I wouldn’t want my paid editors putting scoops out on their blog when those scoops could be driving and growing the print product.”

But it’s not just about who gets the scoops. A more serious question is how can bloggers, whose success depends largely on sharing unvarnished opinions, also work as so-called objective journalists?

There are no easy answers, and many media outlets find it easiest to avoid perceptions of bias by simply issuing blanket restrictions on what their reporters can say and do outside of work. In the past, for example, CNN pressured correspondent Kevin Sites to shut down his blog from Iraq. Time put the kibosh on freelancer Joshua Kucera’s personal blog, and the Hartford Courant strong-armed one of its columnists, Denis Horgan, to stop him from blogging. (With the exception of Kucera, they have all returned to the blogosphere.)

Wall Street Journal staffers agree to follow a code of conduct that restricts certain activities to ensure “the independence and integrity” of its publications, services and products. I imagine the Journal is particularly sensitive after an e-mail from Farnaz Fassihi, one of its reporters based in Baghdad, made the rounds last year, portraying life in Iraq as much more dire than her published work suggested.

The New York Times (.pdf) requires its staffers to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, and requires that no newsroom or editorial employee “do anything that damages the Times‘s reputation for strict neutrality.”

Of course, we all know the objectivity of big media is highly suspect. That would imply that such codes of conduct are a sham.

Update 2: Frank J. comments on the myths and facts of blogging:

MYTH: People only blog for the money and the babes.
FACT: People also blog for power, out of sense of arrogance, and because they like the clickity-clack sound of the keyboard.

I will also accept payment in babes, if you happen to have some extras lying about.

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