Matthew Linderman has an interesting thread over at Signal vs. Noise, Blog Comments as News. He cites The Chicago Tribuneís Kerry picks up support story which contains a comment from the Dean blog as evidence of dissatisfaction among Deanís “core supporters.” He says: “Iím not all that convinced unidentified blog commenters really deserve coverage from legitimate news sources.”
As several posters made note, this is definitely not the first occurence of blogs or forum comments making it into news articles. Excellent comments (questions) in this thread. Poster EK notes: “blog posts have ZERO attributability. ...the quoted postee could very easily be a poseur or, perhaps, even an unscrupulous journalist willing to manufacture some meat to add to the bones of a story (in this post-Jason Blair era this scenario doesn’t seem all that far fetched). This is bad for journalism and bad for those of us who look to publications like the Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, et al, for credible news reporting and analysis.”
Another commenter, Erin, adds: “… the issue of ethics comes up as well - is it really proper for a journalist to cite a comment from a weblog, message board or chat (especially without their knowledge)?”
This is tricky territory, but one that needs to be dealth with soon. We would love to see more journalists and academics jump in the fray on this conversation. In a previous post, we suggested that “Editors at mainstream news media organizations need to establish policies for attribution when sourcing blogs, and collaborative publishing communities such as Slashdot.” Does anyone know if any news agencies have attempted to develop editorial policies on this issue? If so, post a comment.