Scare quote-journalism, ethics and the rest of us (mini-Wide Open update)

The existence and timing of these articles might represent a convergence of some sort. But from where I’m slumping, it sure doesn’t sound, or, more accurately, read very harmonically:

Matt Dickman on his blog, Techno//Marketer: The blogger, journalist divide with references to you know what

Roldo, to be on CoolCleveland later this week but via Brewed Fresh Daily now: Roldo Bartimole weighs in on you know what

Bizarre editorial from the PD today: The do- it-yourself ‘press corps’ – an idea whose time has come in which they try to make a point with snark and irony, but miss. Since the DIY press corps is, you know, already here. That’s not the part that messed up FEMA. Most DIY press corps folks I know, aka political bloggers who do primary source reporting, would never do, have never done, what FEMA did, unless they were making an Onion-like take.

Bill Sloat: Ohio Journalists and Campaign Contributions: Money flows to Democrats. Bill argues that since reporters often belong to a guild to which they can voluntarily make political contributions, then essentially aren’t reporters contributing to politicians, which would be apposite to what the PD says can be done? Or, they can give, but then they can’t write about the people supported by the Guild?

Cindy Zawadski on As Ohio Goes: Insight on the Plain Dealer and Diadiun She says it well: the PD’s reasoning for their position includes indefensible lapses in logic.

Jeff Jarvis: Where’s the digital union? The gist is captured in this quote he provides, from James Poniewozik’s Labor Cyberwars” or Why I’m like a TV Writer Except Poorer:

Writers and production staff at Time Inc. are covered by a union, which just finished a drawn-out contract renegotiation. (I’m covered by the union but not a member; Time Inc. is an open shop, meaning membership is optional.) A big point of contention between the union and management has been the fact the website’s editors and production staffs are not covered by the union–although union-covered magazine staff, like me, do work for the websites as well.

The deal the company and union reached: magazine staff (like me) can’t be compelled to work for the websites, and the company will not extend union coverage to the website staff. To me–and, for instance, Jeff Jarvis–it’s a worst-of-both-worlds settlement. Instead of treating the ever-more-important websites as if they were ever more important, the magazine staffers get the right to abstain from working for them, and the company gets to avoid, God forbid, having more unionized employees. . .[my emphasis]

Well, there is always the PD’s current suggestion of a solution: convince bloggers to provide content online for free, under independent contracts and then, when things go awry, paint the scenario as if it’s the same-old same-old employer-employee misunderstanding.

I’m sure everyone will buy that.

One thought on “Scare quote-journalism, ethics and the rest of us (mini-Wide Open update)

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