...our own boss Aaron Gell chimes in: What writer/bloggers will quickly find out if they begin selling their own ads is not simply how hard ad teams work it but how much shit they eat and (thankfully) protect editors from. While it’s probably true that bloggers without any scruples whatsoever are now in a position to cash in by pimping out their reputations to the highest bidders I can’t see how it doesn’t instantly pervert truth, honest discourse and all we hold dear.In the blurry world of new media it might seem that all bloggers are alike, but the question requires a good deal more nuance given the relationships bloggers have - quasi-independent with a fellowship? on the Gawker payroll while freelance blogging for a startup nonprofit? - and the content they create.
Even in the case of news sites the lines are getting blurred - often intentionally - with opinion driving what is covered and how. Rachel Sklar, who works for Dan Abrams' Mediaite, says transparency is enough when it comes to ad sales. For a more traditional journalist, transparency is a cop out - negotiating an ad sale with an institution you cover is wrong even if you confess it all to your readers.