It takes courage to stand up against the interests of an advertiser, and always has.
Over the last several years, in broadcast and print, advertisers have become increasingly aggressive in defending their interests. Some have demanded a form of editorial control — don’t write against me and my interest or I pull my ads. But a newspaper editor or TV news director who bows to such pressure quickly finds themselves making major withdrawals from their credibility account.
And so we come to network neutrality.
Last week, an Astroturf group affiliated with Mike McCurry took out a BlogAds campaign on a number of liberal blogs. The coyly made ads linked to a site which told people that Net Neutrality would be "regulating the Internet" so they certainly wanted to fight the whole idea.
So what did the bloggers do? They called it out. They wrote pieces on their blogs which basically said — don’t believe that ad to the right of my copy. It’s nonsense.It lies.
(The link is just one example. I found several last week.)
This is the kind of editorial courage that used to exist in the print
and broadcast world, on which generations of movies were made, and on
behalf of which generations of young men and women gave their all to
Now it’s fading in broadcast and print, because of profit pressures.
We’re seeing more-and-more phony newscasts (actually produced by
advertisers), fewer-and-fewer real investigative reports on anything
having to do with what corporations want.
Yet in the blogosphere, people are attacking their own advertisers.
Which side is more ethical again?