In the last couple of years, Kelly Payne has made her civics class at Dutch Fork High School into a must-do speaking appearance for South Carolina politicos of all ranks and from both parties. Yesterday, I was the latest guest speaker, where I talked about a number of subjects, including blogging, new media, the evolution of news media, 80s culture, a little bit about my faith ... and of course, the College of Charleston. These kids aren't afraid to throw out some tough questions, which included:
- What would you say is your biggest objective as a blogger -- fairly reporting news, influencing public opinion on issues, or outing people (like most bloggers seem to do)?
- Some people have said there should be a “Code of Ethics” for bloggers -- to encourage their stuff to be honest and civil. How do you feel about whether that’s necessary? Would that stifle the free speech of bloggers?
- How often do you make mistakes in what you report in Blogland? How embarrassing is it when you do? What’s been your most embarrassing mistake?
- You work in PR for a big company. Explain whether your job is a bigger help to your blogging or whether your blogging is a bigger help to your job?
- Your faith seems to be big in your life -- it shows in some of your blogs (like last Friday with that beautiful Bible passage about loving people). Lots of people seem more afraid than you to talk out loud about their faith. Why is your faith so important to you -- and what’s made you so bold in expressing it?
- Do you make money blogging? Could a person make enough money blogging to live on?
If you're not prepared to take a tough question or two, avoid this bunch. But if you believe in what you're doing and can take the heat, then you'll be glad you meet this bunch of students - and they'll be glad to meet you as well.
Thanks again to Kelly and her students for their hospitality ... and some straightforward questions.