Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Bloggers' side and against them

Personally I think a bit too much attention is being paid to blogging nowadays, but I suppose I will rise to bloggers'
defense anyway.

Some bloggers will act as responsibly as journalists in terms of protecting confidences; some will not. Some journalists, even columnists for the Washington Post, have divulged the identities of their confidential sources. Some journalists have lied. Some journalists have plagarized. So have some bloggers. Others have acted honorably.

Whether you like it or not, there is no immutably crisp line dividing the two groups of people from a practical standpoint, and there must not be one from a legal standpoint.

I've worked for a number news organizations including some of the largest around. I believe you're mistaken to think that if Dan Gillmor's old newspaper the SJMN received a verifiable tip about a forthcoming Apple product -- say a radical new iVideo handheld device -- they would somehow refuse to print it. What silliness! (The situation may be different now -- Dan can speak for himself -- because he has a new job and a new role.)

Second, I believe you are mistaken to believe Apple would sue the SJMN; it is protected by the California Constitution while Powerpage is probably not. That discrepancy is the point of my column.

Good blogging is good journalism. Bad blogging is spending all day writing about your cats.

Declan McCullagh
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