Friday, May 31, 2013

BEA Day 4: Blogging ethics: Loyalty lessons from journalism

  I know bloggers are not journalists and the “rules” are in flux. Most bloggers are not professionals, and many of them don’t want to be.
To that I say Yeah!
That should be liberating.

 Still, one carry-over question I value from years as a professional journalist and critic at a small newspaper: Who are you writing for?  Who is your audience? As a journalist I knew my audience. I was writing for my readers, not the guy who sent me a book or wrote it.  My primary loyalty was to my audience, not to a publicist and certainly never to an author or theater company (though I was respectful, and knew I needed to maintain a relationship or I would be out of a job).
I was not giving director’s notes or writing lessons.  I was not giving “feedback.” That was someone else’s job. If someone was getting money for a book, the book became fair game.  As paid professional writers, they wrote for their audience; I wrote for mine. 
 I think the best blogs have a focused sense of loyalty. Those that attract many followers often have a conversational voice and a real sense of a blogging community. They have blogging friends they are faithful to.  Their readers, in turn, are faithful back.


  1. This is a different take on the ethics topic that I've seen today and I like it. Thanks for offering a unique point of view.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  2. Thanks. I like it too. Still looking for my focus and finding my community in the blogosphere.

  3. Well said Barbara. I never wrote theatre or book reviews but faced the same issues when dealing with stories given to me by politicians.


  4. Yes. Even though It's opinion, similar ethics apply.