Disclose unto us

Micah Sifry is pissed about today’s NY Times op-ed feature on bloggers paid by campaigns. I’m not. I think the more disclosure we have, the better. As I said at the Museum of Television & Radio panel I moderated, on which Micah served, and as I said in this post after the Kos convention, I do think we need to discuss the lines between journalism — that is, the imparting of reliable information, which bloggers do — and advocacy — that is, taking on a cause — and paid consultancy, which more and more bloggers are doing. We, of all people, must be very transparent about our roles and relationships, especially as we demand such transparency of media and politicians. It’s not just about appearances. It’s also about loyalties: Bloggers, I said at the MT&R event, are taking on roles of leadership and those who choose to follow deserve to know whether the bloggers to whom they link are more loyal to a cause or to a candidate and whether their loyalty stems from payment. So the Times charting these paid relationships is doing to us as we would do unto others. Golden Rule, I’d say.

: In the comments, Gray says I should repeat my disclosure that I consult for a Times Company division, About.com. Right, you are.