American Marketing Association in Boston
Blogger Endorses Product Without Revealing Payment

Journalists Ask For Help From Readers

My comment expanded so much, I thought I'd write a post.

James & Scott,

Do you know of any examples of journalists posting a press release and asking for comments?  I would think that any publication would rather have the journalist interview experts directly and then have the journalist write and post the article.  That's how the current publication model works.  Would any publisher, or editor let their journalists ask such questions in this way?  Effectively journalists do ask for comments from experts but they use their contacts, referral systems like ProfNet from PR Newswire and just calling people up directly.

The model Scott suggests is the blogging model and actually makes a lot of sense.  Instead of a private request in ProfNet to those people who are looking for active PR leads, a journalist would post the request to the entire web.  We could argue that the journalist would get a better response.  However, does this not open the curtain behind the wizard’s pyrotechnics?  How would readers feel if they are able to see the process of story development by journalists?  Do you think seeing behind the magic would reduce their credibility?  Is this already happening? I know Dan Gillmor at Bayosphere is in the process of asking lots of questions about rising house prices in the San Francisco Bay area, I don’t know if Dan will develop other stories for the mass media based on the discussions.

Personally I think a blog on the development of each article actually makes a lot of sense.  It makes the point, that journalists are not infallible, and their research is only as good as their ability to ask questions and find the best sources.