dimanche 24 février 2008

Podcamp Toronto : Social media & ethics

Keith McArthur & Matthew Ingram speak to the question of ethical practices in the social media space.

Keith presented three case studies :

Case study 1 : Jimmy Carter - the CBC called him a 'Washed up peanut farmer'. It was an April Fool's gag. The Globe picked it up as a real story, and it made the front page of the G&Mail.

Case study 2 : Ford Mustang calendar made by fans. A story came out saying that Café Presse had intervened to stop production. Ford started to comment in blogs, saying that they didn't have objection to this particular project. Keith presents this as a case of bloggers not doing their homework.

Case study 3 : Target uproar - blogger who contacted Target to complain about an ad campaign was told Target didn't participate with 'non traditional media markets'.

Major points raised:

Should bloggers be fact checking as much as traditional journalists?

Matthew notes that errors in blog postings can be pointed out and corrected faster than in traditional media, where retractions are often buried in the pages of newspapers.

He also notes that, like bloggers trying to drive traffic, traditional media looks for newsworthy stories .. sometimes controversial or salatious .. to increase readership.

He talks about the balance of power : The G&Mail has a lot of influence for a variety of reasons, so it is perhaps more incumbent upon them to be certain of their facts than an individual blogger.

Matthew has a personal blog along with his Globe blog and admits that he probably wouldn't go to as great lengths with his Globe blog than he would with his personal blog .. that said, he always tries to be fair, no matter where he's publishing.

Feels that the blogosphere, at the moment, is like the early days of print journalism, all run by people with agendas. Over time, the ones that spread the message people wanted survived, and they amalgamated into bigger entities.

He admits to self-censorship. He doesn't write about politics or a wide range of subjects, because he's aware that he's associated with the G&Mail.

Concerns of journalists who are asked to blog : what do I write about? What do I do when people talk back to me?

Matthew believes in comments. They're a lot of work : you get spam, comments that are irrelevant or unnecessarily mean. If you don't have comments, he feels that puts you in the position of a traditional media like a newspaper or newsletter. 'It's just not social.'

Bloggers, like traditional media, do have to keep legal/libel implications in mind when they write or accept comments. That said, Matthew notes that they get good feedback and even information about news items (ex: structural engineers commenting about the Laval overpass accident).

1 commentaire:

nicolask7 a dit...

merci pour la couverture de ton week-end a toronto !