by Max Brantley
John Brummett's continuing new media examination (the original link didn't work because Stephens Media apparently is testing its new website today. I've updated, but I don't know if it will last) moves today to bloggers. He cites a couple of good blogs -- The Arkansas Project by David Kinkade and Blake's Think Tank by Blake Rutherford -- that happen to be run as sidelines by people in the public relations business. It's a takeoff for questions about the potential for conflict between blogging and private commercial interests.
His point is that readers can't make assumptions in reading blogs that they operate by the generally accepted standards of newspapers. True. This is true in matters beyond the ethical. People are still confused about what I do. We report news. But we also editorialize, often at the same time we are reporting news. That seems self-evident enough, but it's clearly disorienting to some accustomed to the newspaper model.
Performance over time eventually provides a somewhat useful base for evaluation of blogs, I think. Eventually.
One problem in the analysis is that some newspapers or newspaper employees fall short of the widely understood assumptions about how THEY should operate. Yes, I said it. You can't always trust them lyin' newspapers.