Simon Owens of Bloggasm talks to Los Angeles Times editor Tony Pierce about the email heard 'round the blogosophere, in which he admonishes Times' bloggers "not to blog" about allegations John Edwards had an affair that led to a love child "until further notified.”
Says Pierce, in part:
"What I should have said is that if you find information — because these are real reporters — if you find any more information, or if there’s something that’s out there that you come across put out by a more reputable source, write it up and let’s talk about it. That’s probably one thing that I wish I could have said."
The not-so-reputable source implied there is the National Enquirer.
Whether the Times' skepticism of the celebrity gossip mag's reporting is responsible journalism or proof of some deep liberal bias is for others to debate. For me, the dust up re-raises interesting questions about what it means to blog for an established newspaper - Are the bloggers beholden to the same ethics and standards as staff reporters?* Or are they somehow separate from the traditional newsroom? (Mickey Kaus finds it all an affront to Web 2.0 values - see "more layoffs, please - part xviii")
Also, this episode provides more evidence that newsroom deliberations are becoming more transparent, whether intentionally so or not. Already editors and managers are learning to tailor their emails and memos to dual audiences - the audience that's in the "To" line and the bloggers who will inevitably get hold of them.
*Blogs do seem to be beholden to page views, as another email from Pierce to his crew makes clear (via LA Observed).