An Objective Press is Job Security for PR
Gary Goldhammer of Below the Fold makes the point that:
“There should be no line between where the journalist ends and the ‘citizen’ begins.”
My concern is that in blurring this line do we also blur objectivity?
This may not seem important, but it is the most important factor in effective public relations.
We work hard to get stories picked-up by the media every day because the stories in the media are trusted more than advertisements (for example).
Aside: See Point #4 in my recent post about the Harris Online and PRSA survey to verify that people trust media more than PR and advertising. See full survey here (pdf)
In fact, they trust PBS and NPR most of all — arguably the most objective news source out there. (I know, some of you think they are ultra liberal, but I have always found the coverage balanced, and I am pretty much a center-to-right-of-the-road gal).
I agree as Gary puts it that:
“Citizen journalists need to be more than real-time letter writers, and mainstream journalists need to look at news as something that is shared, not owned.”
However, I think the balance will be hard to strike.
Again, I make the point that blogs are another format for communication, like television, radio, e-mail, etc. We all need to struggle with how to use it ethically and effectively. Communication is communication.
The rules haven’t changed.