Paul Andrews article in The Seattle Times titled Web logging can serve many roles raises the question about the integrity of the Macromedian bloggers, while trying to take the issue a step further, he focuses on the lack of labeling of the Macromedia weblogs.
Macromedia’s bloggers want to have it both ways. They don’t want to be seen as shills. At the same time, they are loath to bite the hand that feeds them. As one Macromedia manager told me, he would never criticize the company or tout a competitor’s products on his blog, “or I’d probably be fired.”
It might be easy to jump on the choir of critics and agree that every single resource from someone in a corporation should be labeled and all interest disclosed. In my opinion it is at best misguided. You don’t see journalists disclosing their affiliation, stock portfolio or interests regular, do you? And to think that all news that you read is objective and not tainted is at best naive.
I have to agree with Dave Winer in his estimation of the criticism from Paul Andrews
That Macromedia is considered fair game, and somehow the pros are not, shows you how screwed up the system is. We should certainly be circumspect of vendors who turn into journalists, but we should be more circumspect of reporters who accept the conflicts of their employers without disclosing them. The vendor who puts on the journalism hat has a clearly disclosed interest. The reporter who doesn’t dare to report on his employer, when it’s material, and fails to disclose this, is much less of a journalist, imho, than the amateur with the clearly disclosed interest.
With the most brilliant piece being
If you want to see the faceoff, ask Andrews if he could challenge the integrity of the Seattle Times the way he has challenged the integrity of the reporters at Macromedia.
To the Macromedian Bloggers, and especially John Dowdell that is commenting on this very issue today, I say: Keep up the good work, and don’t pay too much notice to the bullshit from Andrews.
[Via Scripting News]
Disclosure: Jarle Dahl Bergersen is a freelance developer, and an avid Flasher. He does not own any stocks in Macromedia, or in any news organization directly competing with The Seattle Times. Bergersen is one of the editors of Flashmagazine.com, an independent news resource for the Flash community. Jarle Dahl Bergersen also owns a considerable share of the Norwegian multimedia hosting company Webhead. Bergersen has attended many of the Flash conferences, and have on several occasions met and socialized with several Macromedia employees. When asked which food he like best and his favorite sexual position, Bergersen refused to answer.