OLD Media Moves

Businesses are blogging, but it's not journalism

February 12, 2006

The Chicago Tribune reviewed in the Sunday paper the growing phenomenon of businesses and other entities that have begun blogging on the Internet, trying to portray their opinions and views in an unfettered way. Among those blogging are General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz, who says he blogs “to correct what he considered inaccurate reporting about GM products in some of the biggest U.S. newspapers,” the article stated.

Greg Burns, the Tribune reporter who wrote the story, also said, “But not everyone thinks the medium’s ability to self-police can overcome more sophisticated put-ons, or identify covert conflicts of interest.

“‘A lot of this stuff that masquerades as honest information is being supported by somebody,’ said George Harmon, a business journalism professor at Northwestern University. ‘They’ve all got an agenda, and a lot of times it’s hidden. This is a new way of delivering the same old Shinola.’

“Nevertheless, corporations are expected to keep on blogging, seizing the new opportunity to communicate with customers and employees in a first-person, conversational style, as well as to advance their marketing strategies. Some bloggers definitely have connected, such as the organic dairy farmer whose manure-tinged musings have struck an authentic chord on behalf of food marketer Stonyfield Farm.”

Read the entire article here.

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