Transparency and political blogs

Transparency is perhaps the most significant business and media issue of the decade. Following the uncovering of ethical lapses by everyone from Enron to Ketchum, the public—not to mention regulatory agencies—are demanding transparency. Even journalists appear willing to have their source material exposed to public scrutiny (see “Can PR Handle Transparency?”) And yet political bloggers on both sides of the fence seem to believe they can still get away with masking their identities in order to promote their personal political ideologies.

The latest case, reported by Howard Kurtz, involves Jeff Gannon, who writes for conservative Web… Read More »

Can PR handle transparency?

I spent yesterday with a client in Santa Clara, which is something of a haul from my office. I used the time to catch up on some backlogged podcasts, including a January 31 edition of Corante Event Lab. The show involved podcasting challenges. David Berlind, executive editor of ZDNet’s Tech Update, was one of the guests. Most of the show dealt with equipment and such, but toward the end of the show, Berlind talked about an experiment he has undertaken. He called it a “podcasting for transparency channel.”

Here’s the idea: In an effort to address the mistrust with which so many people approach the work of journalists, articles and… Read More »

Licensing PR

Steve Phenix, author of the Phenix Rising blog, has trotted out the notion of licensing PR practitioners. Distressed by the low regard in which PR is held, Phenix is exploring a number of ways to rehabilitate the profession’s image.

In my nearly 30 years in the business, I’ve seen the licensing idea brought back to life (not unlike a Phoenix) again and again. The outcome of licensing would certainly be beneficial, since the license would be required for PR professionals to be able to ply their trade and all PR professionals would be held to the same standard. Anyone violating the standard could lose his license. Phenix suggests (for… Read More »

Podcasting makes USA Today’s front page

I’m in a hotel in Portland, Oregon, preparing for a couple sessions with the US Forest Service. I opened the door this morning to pick up my copy of USA Today. The word “podcasting” leapt at me off the front page. There are actually two front-page stories on podcasting in the paper, one in the Money section and one in the Life section. The business article looks at the rise of podcasting and its future, including some of the obstacles. For instance, the manufacturers of the more popular MP3 players (notably Apple, which refused to comment for the story) are joined at the hip with big record labels and are in hurry to retool their… Read More »

Forget the journalism debate. Will investors continue to support newspapers?

An intriguing note from Steve Outing at PoynterOnline, pointing to a New York Sun story by Roderick Boyd. Boyd cites a Wall Street Analyst and a hedge fund manager who see problems in continued investments in newspapers considering the diffused competition, high cost structures, and growing use of the Internet as a channel for obtaining news. ‘That decreases the need to pay a dollar or more for it (a newspaper) let alone buy ads.’ Couple this with the fact that Craigslist had more classified ads than the New York Times in the last quarter, and Outing concludes that “that Wall Street is going to devalue newspapers in the coming years for… Read More »

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