Backing into the future
The Plain-Dealer has discovered that journalism ethics matter, even in the brave new world of blogging. One would have hoped these experienced news managers wouldn't have needed a lesson in this.
"Our mistake in looking at this in hindsight was in paying people," says editor Susan Goldberg in a memo posted on Poynter. "We can’t have people on our payroll who won’t play by our rules.”
Is that a revelation that came naturally? Newspapers across the country to seem to be indulging in the equivalent of teenage experimentation when it comes to the Internet. Mistakes will happen, but basic conflict rules should apply to all newsroom employees. It's not as arcane as BuzzMachine would have us believe:
"Indeed, that is what journalism most needs today — new perspectives, new understanding of the public, a new relationship with that public, and new ways of serving it."
Exactly what does Jarvis need the newspaper for? Nothing stops political bloggers who contribute money from going at each other all day long on the Internet. Why do it under the banner of Plain Dealer if you don't like their "bright line" ethics rules?