Bloggers Must Disclose Financial Deals

Today’s New York Times op-chart column reporting on bloggers who write about politics and have a financial relationship with some of their subjects is very disturbing [“New on the Web:Politics as Usual.” By K. Daniel Glover & Mike Essl]. All financial ties require prominent disclosure, at the very least. We hope that policymakers will swifly require such rules. But if bloggers are to be taken seriously as journalists and opinion-leaders, they must hold themselves up to a high standard. It’s bad enought that now many accept advertising. I assume that the bloggers listed in the column, as well as any others who are working for politicians, corporations or any other interest they write about will be forthcoming about their connections.
PS: I support this column via my salary from the Center. It’s true that I have supporters–but they are all grantmaking organizations who don’t have any formal positions regarding what I do or write about. And I would never consider taking money from someone and then cover them–writing online or off. That’s bad journalism–and disreputable blogging.

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