Journalistic Ethics: The Pentagon Story

I've just re-read the NYT scathing expose of the massive PR machine that is the Bush/Rumsfeld Pentagon, and I'm struck (yet again) at how far removed today's TV news organizations seem to be from what I believe to be core journalistic ethics: transparency and the absolute avoidance of the appearance of conflict of interest. I don't know what's more amazing: how little oversight the network handlers employed or what appears to be rampant greed (access to power for self or employer) on the part of former military colonels and generals (the only ranks identified). For example, the network news organizations "raised no objections when the Defense Department began paying their commercial airfare for Pentagon-sponsored trips to Iraq — a clear ethical violation for most news organizations." The story will (properly) be used to counter those who insist that citizen journalists or people who use blogging software as their publishing platform are somehow innately inferior to credentialed journalists/news organizations. Read the damning responses from the networks to the 10,000 word expose: …continue reading →

Notes from the Corporate Panel

The four corporate reps provided very diverse examples of how major organizations are integrating new media into their corporate communication strategies. Nancy Blanton, Port of Seattle, explained some of the process behind the Port's new website design (yeah! personas!). The focus shifted from the organization to its audiences. One result is a real-time flight info page. [I checked my 1.36 pm flight -- at 9.23. Basic info (gate, departure time, flight number). Nothing yet (too early!) on status.] The Port is also planning to use RSS syndication to allow interested people (journalists, agency people, citizens, etc) stay up to date on the light rail project, which will connect SeaTac with Seattle. Nancy also talked about two technologies that most communicators probably aren't talking about: RFID technology and VoIP. RFID is a technology may be used to enhance/support security; last week they demo'ed the technology for Sen. Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Collins (R-ME), who have introduced the Greenlane Maritime Cargo Security Act (S 2008).   …continue reading →