20 August 2007

Antoher excuse bites the dust

Occasionally I hear from clients and potential clients as to why they refuse to actively engage bloggers and other online communities.

The excuse: Bloggers aren't journalists. They get their facts wrong, and it's almost impossible to correct the record with them.

The truth: Journalists get facts wrong all the time, and it's actually harder to correct the record with them than it is to correct it with a blogger.

That's right: a new study by Scott R. Maier at the University of Oregon shows that errors are rampant at daily newspapers, and corrections to those errors are issued about two percent of the time. So in the 98 percent of the time a correction isn't issued, your only option is a letter to the editor, which the paper can edit if it decides to print it at all. Companies will sometimes choose to buy an ad as "the only way we can get our side of the story out," and it's a lot cheaper to buy an ad on a blog than virtually any daily paper in the country.

Blogs are inherently self-correcting because they allow comments. The communities that read blogs police their own. And if the blogger won't allow comments, you can write and promote your own blog.

1 comment:

Selfmademom said...

Great point, and great related article in New York Times today about Wikipedia... with a case study of the journalist John Siegenthaler.