What a ridiculous title for a blog post. I should have my blogger status revoked.
Or maybe I’ll just be fined, like bloggers now supposedly will be if they do not fully disclose deals or endorsements or free items received, as journalists are supposed to. That’s what Publisher’s Lunch is saying the FTC is saying. Those feds…
I think we need to begin distinguishing between blogs and online journalism. There is now a lot of quality journalism occurring online and I certainly hope these writers are being held to the standards (of disclosure, reporting, and ethics, etc) that traditional print media is (or should be). Then there are blogs, and blogs are all about disclosure. In fact, they’re about too much disclosure. They’ll not only disclose that they got the book they’re reviewing for free, they’ll disclose that they spilled Folgers on it while suffering from shakes induced by their anti-anxiety medicine. This distinction is a mostly semantic but, as the FTC is making clear, is going to have some serious legal repercussions down the road.
Meanwhile, I’ve just written one of my favorite ever emails to my listserv and it strikes me that you might not be on it, as in, you might be missing out on free fiction, updates on my brilliant freelancing, and tons of scintillating wit! Do you see that link to the right? Well use it! Join that email list. I won’t give you email to anyone, ever, and that, my friends, is full disclosure of my email list’s terms.