Jeff “Columbo” Jarvis: Just one more thing on Wide Open

And I’m glad he decided to say just one more thing, because it’s a good post that highlights one of Jay Rosen’s best points: bloggers aren’t without ethics, as has previously been intimated by some corners.

Rather, there are two sets of ethics involved (at a minimum, given that no one has yet addressed Columbus Dispatch Associate Publisher Michael Curtin’s $25,000 contribution to the Vote No Casinos group in 2006 – he has also been a political reporter and editor at the Dispatch during his 34 years there):

Jay Rosen summed up what I was trying to say in one eloquent line; he has a habit of doing that: “Advice to newsroom people: if you’re caught up in a situation that appears to pit journalists with ethics against bloggers who ain’t got none, you may actually be facing a conflict between one ethic and another, and it would be good to find out what the ‘other’ is before deciding what to do.”

[snip]

This entire tale is not about one tribe having ethics, the other not. That’s what was so grossly insulting, self-centered, and truly self-righteous about the Plain Dealer’s treatment of the bloggers. They thought the other guys didn’t have any. Instead, this should be about one tribe trying to understand — and learn from — the ethics of the other. The Plain Dealer didn’t try. That is its loss.

Thanks to Jay, Jeff, Danny Glover, Amy Gahran, all others who have offered opinions and perspectives on Wide Open’s demise.  A few have bothered to call and/or email me to find out what happened and discern why.  Thanks especially to them.

We’re going to learn from this, each of us something different, but hopefully all of us some of the same things.  Mostly, I just hope we do something good for the readers – because without them, it really is just navel-gazing.   And for that, I could just stay in my pjs in the basement.

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