Conflicts of interest?

Recently, we've seen some discussion about bloggers who cross their work with their blogging.

Rest assured, it's not the first time some blogger has accused another of mixing blogging as a form of news media with blogging as a form of paid advertising. Inevitably, such situations risk creating the appearance of conflicts of interest ... but even worse, they confuse the heck out of people, making them wonder who is backing who, who is paying who, and what is the real agenda of a given blogsite.

All we want to know about Columbia is who will pick up our bar tab when we're in town?

Seriously, folks ... it's one thing to have an opinion, support a candidate or an issue and use your blogsite to express that support. It's another to use your blog as paid advertising for candidates and issues. But either way, it's a free country, and we figure most people are smart enough to take what they read with a grain of salt.

Either way, as long as people know where the bottom line is, there's no harm done.

To help cut down on potential conflicts, we made it an early point to avoid discussion of SCDOT-related issues. Why? Because our employer is a construction general contractor who does a lot of business with the state. We could share our opinions about issues related to the SCDOT, or even local sales tax referenda over county-funded road programs, but we're pretty sure what we said would come across as biased and insincere.

In the case of issues such as requiring that bituminous curbing be used under guardrails on elevated shoulders or the benefits of using cement stabilization with full-depth reclamation of rural dirt roads ... such discussion would come across as biased, insincere ... as well as really darned boring.

We understand that some political bloggers also work in the political realm for a living, and as such, may have a vested interest in speaking out in favor of issues and candidates. While we disagree with those who believe their employment disqualifies them from being able to speak (and blog), we do believe that it's fair that you know who we are and where we're coming from.

This should go for those who work in politics and government, as well as those (like the Blogland) who are private citizens who enjoy sounding off about those subjects.

2 Response to "Conflicts of interest?"

  1. west_rhino 4/3/08 13:29
    I find the "professional journalists" that blog AND troll blogs for leads (oft not properly credited, may their plagarizing souls repent and sin no more), have a particular conflict of interest. Mayhaps, as with the billion dollar porn industry, faced with third party record keeping to prove that their models are of legal age, a boilerplate disclosure, either in a header or an entry page has a place.
  2. houston moye 4/3/08 23:17
    rural dirt roads are not boring

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

To post a comment without having a Blogger account, select "Name/URL", put your name in, but leave the URL line blank. Email me if you'd like to comment, but need help making it work.