Is Impartiality in Media or Blogging Even Possible?

Don't Trust the Mainstream Media

Image Credit: Agent 3155: Mainstrea Media: Truth or Lies

Every time I read a post bemoaning the idea that copywriters and bloggers deserve to be compensated for their time because journalism should be impartial, I wonder whether people truly believe that the major media does not primarily benefit the wealthy who control it.

Back in the old days (say in the ’70s when I studied Journalism), a journalist was taught to only report the news and any opinion was to be found only on the editorial page.

The truth remains that those businesses that could afford to buy advertising influenced what got published. To deny that is naive.

What the audience of any publication really needs to know
will never appear
in the major magazines, newspapers or broadcasts
whenever that information would be contrary to the
interests of the advertisers supporting that media.

I’ll offer an example from an industry I know well. You are never going to read in The Blood-Horse or The Thoroughbred Times that the Thoroughbred Breeding Industry is about creating the next big stallion – not racing.

You are not going to read that the Throughbred Industry’s goal is not creating great racehorses as much as it is to separate those with the deepest pockets from their money consistently. (Which, given the overhead they have, is a logical – although not very ethical given how it is done – goal to have.)

Twice Breeders' Cup Mile Winner DaHossThey have spent decades conditioning buyers to believe that only the offspring of Kentucky Derby winning stallions out of mares who have already produced stakes winners can become stakes winners and deserve the highest bids because only they will win the Kentucky Derby.

If you believe that is true you haven’t paid attention to history. Use the Internet to find articles like this 1971 article from Sports Illustrated: Is it Crooked or Straight? The legs of yearlings go every which way at Keeneland’s poor man’s sale, but smart buyers have found the last two Derby winners there.”

Statistics prove otherwise and if someone wanted to be leading owner they can do that for a lot less money IF they hire the best pedigree analysts and one particular conformation expert I know AND know what specific conditions where the prospect was raised they must avoid.

Interview with Robin Petrasek: Choosing Thoroughbred Horses

Image Credit: Horseman Magazine Choosing a Thoroughbred

To their credit, The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association publishes a Thoroughbred Yearling Buyers Guide that debunks some common myths, but if you really want to be successful hire an insider and buy directly from the farm BEFORE the yearlings go through conditioning.

You will never read that the most expensive racing prospects are being crippled by elective equine corrective surgery to make them APPEAR to be correct when they might be sound (although less perfect in appearance) if left alone. Sadly, the surgery misaligns the supporting structures and almost guarantees they will break down.

This happens because agents want to avoid any visible conditions when recommending purchases so they will not be blamed if the prospect does not stay sound. If they were NOT operated on and had a visible imperfection, but were sound the agent WOULD BE BLAMED should some unrelated accident disable them.

Fair Trade

You don’t even want to know what is done to win races or how many means are justified in the pursuit of the ends. That is true for racing and it is true for most other industries, BUT WE CAN CHANGE THAT!

We can collectively favor the best Fair Trade concepts and be willing to pay reasonable prices for what we buy. We can support ethical small businesses with our time and money and stop spending money that benefits none by the wealthy few.

Let me study any industry and I will find for you the unwritten truth that you will never read because to publish what hurts your advertisers is suicidal for any media outlet.

Today news isn’t even news and the main reason I believe there are influential people championing the idea that word of mouth should always be free is to benefit the bottom line of companies that would always rather improve their bottom line than pay the ‘little people’ like us.

“Mass Media is the most powerful tool
used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses.

It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes
and defines what is normal and acceptable.

~ Vigilant Citizen ~
Mind Control Theories and Techniques used by Mass Media

Not For Sale - End Human Trafficking Let me make this perfectly clear to those who don’t understand us:

The opinions of bloggers who are
highly ethical thinkers are
NOT for sale at ANY price!

Our time and influence are valuable so
We expect to be compensated!

We can write about businesses, products or services and give our honest opinions whether we do this because we were moved to do so or whether we receive products or access to services or we are paid to write our views.

Money does not corrupt us – especially such tiny
amounts of money because we do not worship money.

Transparency makes a lot more sense because many question whether journalism can be impartial because everything anyone writes IS someone’s opinion and is colored by their background. While some may APPEAR to be impartial that only indicates that their opinions may be more mainstream than some others.

Dan Thornton suggested that Great Journalism Can Be Impartial But Not Neutral. What we believe to be impartiality is more likely to be our being in sync with whatever the publicly acceptable opinions of the day are. If we’re honest, we have to admit we would not be impartial if we were moved to somewhere that accepted norms were vastly different.

Some Word of Mouth advocates seem to be believe that bloggers writing about your business should be free and instead of paying celebrities for endorsement maybe you’ll get lucky and catch them using your product so you can buy advertising that takes advantage of an implied endorsement instead of paying them.

That reminds me that many celebrities are suing brands over their use of look-alike actors and actresses who are basically impersonating them in commercials. At least some of the time the celebrities or their estates win lawsuits over celebrity impersonations used in advertising. Just last month it was widely reported that Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy for Violating Her Right of Publicity.

Does anyone else find it ironic that brands question
bloggers’ integrity when their own is so slippery?

And don’t even get me started about how far over the line of what is appropriate for public display in what we once referred to as “polite” or “mixed” company the mainstream media is now. Advertising has gone beyond suggestive to blatantly sexual adult entertainment masquerading as advertising. Where will the line be drawn if we don’t start speaking out?

Hug A Small Business Owner Today Sticky NoteI ask my fellow bloggers to not take the easy way of promoting big brands and instead reach out to their local small businesses. By adding local content to your blog and creating collaborations of bloggers we can make a good living creating stronger local communities.

I wrote about Why Supporting Your Favorite Local Small Businesses Through Word of Mouth Recommendations improves our standard of living. That post includes statistics clearly showing what the results of a new study by Economists Stephan Goetz and David Fleming published in Economic Development Quarterly finds that Local Businesses are Key to Income Growth:

The key to reversing the long-term trend of stagnating incomes
in the U.S. lies in nurturing small, locally owned businesses
and limiting further expansion and market consolidation
by large corporations.

The debate over whether bloggers can be both compensated and trusted has been raging since PayPerPost offerings in 2006 and heated up at Evo’11 Evo Conference (Evolution of Women in Social Media) when Estee Lauder’s Aveda came out against what LoraLee of @looneytoons called “monetarily compensating bloggers”.

Hers is one of the best posts that came out of Evo:

I THINK SEASONED BLOGGERS ARE FIGHTING
FOR MONETARY COMPENSATION FOR SPONSORED WORK.

SPONSORED WORK.

NOT EDITORIAL WORK.

And this is where I think a lot of misunderstanding happens.

I love the way Yvonne DiVita of Windsor Media Enterprises, LLC said she replies to PR pitches in The Cost Of Free Publicity: How Much Is Too Little? on the American Express OpenForum:

“Did your local newspaper offer to promote this for free?
If they don’t do free advertising, why should I?”

Scroll way down for links to excellent discussions on whether bloggers should ever be paid, and if they are under what circumstances. Be part of these discussions that will shape where blogging, PR and business are going.

Before you do, though, give some serious thought to the purpose of media and why you blog. I want to share with you some information about media you may have never considered and encourage you to realize this:

WE BLOGGERS, COLLECTIVELY,
Can be the voice denied us for so long.

We can be a counterbalance to the conditioning
Of humanity worldwide by the major media.

Take our role seriously as a way to create a better world
For whatever time we have left.

I do.

Edward Benais wrote in his 1927 book Propaganda available online at History is a Weapon:

“Society consents to have its choice narrowed to ideas and objects brought to its attention through propaganda of all kinds. There is consequently a vast and continuous effort going on to capture our minds in the interest of some policy or commodity or idea.” ~ Edward Benais ~

That has never been so clear as it is now with Google Instant and all manner of other items on Google’s agenda wanting to dictate what we can find and the masses willing going along with it.

We are not like those who allow others to make their decisions for them. We do not consent to have the Google Monopoly decide what we will see and will not see.

Through collaborations of wise bloggers
we can retain our freedom of choice and
make sure our blogs and small businesses can be found.

It is time that many more people wake up and realize there has always been an agenda and we are getting very near the end of it. Before any are tempted to dismiss what I say as some “conspiracy theory” you really need to see all the famous people who have publicly announced that there IS a NEW WORLD ORDER.

This video is one of the simpler ways to grasp the big picture all at once (full length movie 2 hours 14 minutes):

BLOG OUTREACH:

  • GrowMap: What is Blog Outreach – Includes Types of Blog Outreach and how they are usually compensated
  • MarketingPilgrim: According to new eMarketer Research: Nearly Half of All Marketers are Willing to Pay for Posts (Aug 26, 2011)
  • WOMMA: Code of Word of Mouth Marketing Ethics and Standards
  • Jeremiah Owyang: A Running List of Sponsored Conversations across different mediums including product placement in movies (Mar 2, 2009 but may be being updated)
  • FTC to Bloggers (and Celebrities): Fess Up or Pay Up

PRO PAYING BLOGGERS:

AGAINST PAYING BLOGGERS:

UNDECIDED or IT DEPENDS:

As always, your opinions and questions are welcome here – whether you agree or disagree. How and when bloggers should be paid for what is still evolving and the more input from different niches the faster we can all develop best practices in that regard.

Also as always here we encourage you to leave links in the comments to any related posts or discussions you feel others may want to see. We believe that only by having an open mind and considering all input can we find the Truth.

The following two tabs change content below.

Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.

Comments

  1. I agree with the basics of the blog, in today’s MFA online environment there is definitely a culture of people writing blogs for commercial gain but then Amazon has a big part to place in that. This was always one way that you could get compensation for writing blogs but Google does not like the idea of anyone making money that they are not and therefore they seek to destroy MFA websites.

  2. Seattle Appraiser says:

    Sad that it all comes down to money in the end. I like the idea of supporting local small businesses from the community on your blog. With so much information out there, it’s nice to let readers choose what to read– even if the content is not impartial.

  3. The only way I think to become effective in journalism or blogging, for that matter, is to have high standards of functioning and overcome corruption. The principles of accuracy, objectivity, truthfulness, impartiality, and fair play – not to mention public accountability must be deeply set in the mind of the writer or journalist.

  4. Blogging can neutralize the impartiality of journalism these days. By blogging we can freely express the truth without the intervention of the rich people who are controlling what facts to be disseminated in the public or what lies should be believed as truth.
    Noel Addison would love you to read ..Mobile Website – Do You Need One?My Profile

  5. I think the creation of the internet is the best example of showing the beauty of the 1st amendment, and the freedom we have as Americans. No doubt there is partiality in media and blogs, you can look at any type of political news channel or blog to see that. But the good thing is that there is tons of information that can be found on the internet from the far left to the far right, and you can choose to read any of them. I believe that there are some blogs whose sole purpose is trying to remain impartial and present the facts of both sides. As a blogger, you have every right to make money from blogging. Just because you do make money doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are writing is biased. People forget that it is usually the advertisers that seek out the bloggers, not the other way around. As long as the advertisers understand that it is the blogger’s site, there shouldn’t be any advertiser influence.

  6. At this point of time, blogging is already considered to be part of the media because everyone can be a part of the blog and everyone has the chance to say what they want to say and what they feel. In fact, many people gather lots of news and updates in the internet that is why it is already part of the social media.
    Kathryn F Koopman would love you to read ..99 FREE PLR Products For Instant DownloadMy Profile

  7. I guess I’m a cynic. It is all about the money. On top of that, people are actually looking for a bias. They want only the version of reality that will validate them. You have to work to find anything impartial.
    Dan Boyle would love you to read ..New Homes Are Selling in Lely ResortMy Profile

    • Hi Dan,

      I wish it were only all about the money – maybe – but now the corrupt ways they are using to get the money have destroyed our freedom to travel or even walk where we live and can put our very lives in jeopardy.

      It just occurred to me, why is that quiz game show named Jeopardy and why does it have Double Jeopardy? Does anyone else find that strange?
      growmap would love you to read ..Blog Outreach ServicesMy Profile

  8. Regarding the video. What is the exact “agenda” of the new World Order? I never understood it exactly. I believe most people high up control stuff to get rich but I don’t believe in the demonic group looking for total world domination.

    • Hi Cristian,

      They already have all the money they could ever use or need. Although some do just seem to love keeping score with what they own, they’re on a power trip and seriously believe we are no more significant than an ant you might step on, referring to people by names like “useless eaters”.

      If you’ve seen the clips of U.S. Presidents, Tony Blair, and other world leaders calling for a New World Order I don’t see how someone can NOT believe they are definitely moving us toward having ONE dictator and making us all slaves to that system.

      We already live in a bizarre police state (read my comment there) that is growing ever more dangerous thanks to the Law Enforcement Growth Industry.

      Americans now defend illegal searches and seizures and tolerate police tasering people for minor traffic offenses or even shooting unarmed citizens. Here are just a handful of the worst videos posted on YouTube:

      Cops taser elderly man with heart condition for refusing to get in an ambulance because he said he could not afford it.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8sArlo-Scw

      Cops TASER 86 Year Old Bedridden Woman Hooked Up To Oxygen! With 10 Cops In The Room! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wYwMnTzuPI&feature=related

      Pregnant woman beaten; miscarries in custody http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgilDu8Loa0

      Woman in handcuffs beaten during time police officer has tape turned off http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB_Hl4bcQNc&feature=related and police department says turning the tape off “is policy”.

      Boy with broken back from falling off overpass tazered 19 times? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N7e2FohN4A&feature=related You have to wonder if he fell off the overpass because he was tazered although that isn’t brought up in the video.

      Police stop ambulance taking someone to the hospital: Oklahoma Highway Patrol fight with an EMT unit which is taking an emergency patient to the hospital.

      Cop stops car rushing to hospital: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch1jwn_pDRI&feature=fvwrel

      There is proof everywhere if you just look thanks to freedom of information act requests providing government documents of formerly secret projects.

      There is even a huge stone monument to their stated goals of reducing human population. This site has a long list of methods that have been tested on humans throughout history.

      There is no doubt that they are Luciferians from the dates they choose for major events to their logos and symbolism to what goes on inside Bohemian Grove.

      Each of us must decide for ourselves what we believe. For me, all that is happening aligns perfectly with what is written in The Bible and many other books and records throughout time.

      EVERY AMERICAN needs to know the rules laid out in this video on How to Deal with Police.

      Definitely watch that video and remember these magic words:

      “I don’t consent to searches.” (4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated… ) For WHY you should NEVER consent to searches watch the video.

      Ask “Are you detaining me or am I free to go?”

      DO NOT TALK. Say “I invoke my right to remain silent and want to speak to an attorney” AND REPEAT THAT if asked anything else. (5th Amendment: No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…)

      Do NOT Invite police into your house. Ask if they have a warrant and if they do not use the phrases above. Either do not remove the chain OR step outside and close the door behind you. (See this video for how to refuse police entry to your home.)

      If you call the police for any reason you ending up in trouble with the law, tasered, arrested or even shot is a definite possibility. Think NOW about how to handle emergencies and think very clearly about whether calling them is wise.

      Teach those around you NOT to call authorities including police, fire, 911 or EMTs if you are not willing to get in an ambulance or be removed from your home or business against your will.

      BE AWARE THAT Police do NOT have to read you your rights – and it is LEGAL FOR THEM TO LIE TO YOU. If you are stopped show your hands at all times so they hopefully will not shoot you. If it is dark turn on your interior light so they can see you aren’t a threat.

      NEVER ASK FOR THEIR NAME OR BADGE NUMBER but do try to get them discretely. To ask will provoke them. Being ultra-polite and speaking only when spoken to MAY help keep you from being the victim of police brutality. There are 15,100 videos tagged Police Brutality on YouTube alone.

      There is NO Federal law requiring you to show ID when not driving. Try “Are you detaining me or am I free to go” but if that doesn’t work telling them who you are may be the best way to not get detained.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Your Geographic Location IS a NicheMy Profile

  9. Interesting and rewarding to know that yes it can happen. I like the links you provided as it will help me with a few other businesses I have going on right now.
    Austex Pools would love you to read ..Blog entry: Austex Pools Austin TexasMy Profile

  10. I guess it is still possible. As long as you are not paying the blogger anything and he wants to blog about a product or service.
    westly would love you to read ..How Fire Extinguishers WorkMy Profile

  11. I am not really a blogger but i really appreciate your post, i have found a very useful information.
    Mikeski would love you to read ..Market News: Yahoo Big Boss to CEO: You’re Fired!My Profile

  12. It never ceases to amaze me how people will blindly continue believing what they are told by newspapers despite how often people have been lied to. P.S i think people are beginning to waken up more and more

  13. As my blog readership grows (in part due to the good advice and mentoring by Gail) I get more PR requests, and more requests to guest post on my blogs. Many of these people have obviously not read my blog and are just scattering emails to the wind in hopes of snagging something. Or they want me to sign a non-compete agreement so severe that I could not write anything for myself, let alone anyone else. And yes, they frequently come back with attitude.

    The world is changing very fast. Companies and brands that do not adapt will die. Small businesses need more help because they have fewer individuals to do all the jobs that go into running a business. The major problem I have run into is convincing the small businesses in my area that they need a web presence and need a blog to update content regularly. They do not realize that the phone book is no longer sufficient.
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    • Hi Stephanie,

      Yes, many businesses including one we both know well are sending out mass emails to bloggers like spam. Apparently because it works (in that they do get responses) they don’t see the downside of what they’re doing and how it will affect their reputation.

      Small businesses are NOT paying nearly enough attention and they do not realize the importance of expanding their reach while they still can. It is unfortunate. If they won’t do the minimum I do NOT recommend they have their own blogs and publish their content on local niche blogs instead.

      We have to stop recommending businesses install blogs if:

      1) There is not enough interesting content to attract THEIR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
      2) They aren’t willing to keep them updated and interact in the comments.
      3) No one is going to be interested in REGULARLY reading about what they do.

      I discuss the pros and cons of owning their own blog versus having their content on popular blogs in their niche or location in Small Business Online Profiles.
      growmap would love you to read ..Gardening Bloggers Wanted to Help Save Historic Landreth Heirloom Non-GMO Seed CompanyMy Profile

  14. You can`t say that journalism is not important but it`s true that the online news become and will become more important and the blogger become more popular.

  15. I think it’s possible, nice review, thanks…

  16. I agree with the The Real Supermum. There’s no use in accepting a free advertising when it does not have anything to do with your blog.

    Bloggers should only accept ads from products and services they believe in and can benefit their readers.

  17. yes, it is possible!
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  18. Hi Gail,

    I appreciate how you consistently bring a perspective that we can sink our teeth into, if we’re truly interested in understanding what is affecting our decisions and lives on a daily basis.
    Vernessa Taylor would love you to read ..Customer Referral Systems: Automation is Your Secret KeyMy Profile

  19. My view has always been that expressing an opinion in blogging and journalism is far more honest than appearing to be impartial. If someone writes with an opinion, and you are reading what they wrote, you can choose to disagree. However, if someone claims to be impartial but is not, it can sometimes be hard to know whether they are communicating facts or their opinion. Among those claiming impartiality, I believe their writing receives less scrutiny than it really should warrant.
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  20. This is a very unique topic.. and pretty much very informative.. liked this quote:
    “Mass Media is the most powerful tool
    used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses.

    It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes
    and defines what is normal and acceptable. “

  21. The Real Supermum says:

    As a “mummy blogger” I am surprised at the large amount of irrelevance requests I receive from companies asking for – Free advertising. While I understand the Mummy Blogging influence is paramount to some parenting related companies I do not wish to write about or include a press release about something I have no interest in. I mostly reply and explain it would not fit within my blog and a high number of those come back with rather a smutty email about how they are highly influential they are and my blog needs them – indeed I do not need them and do not appreciate the way they speak to “someone like me” us mummy bloggers can be useful when treated with respect.
    The Real Supermum would love you to read ..Does having Klout matter?My Profile

    • Hi Emma,

      No doubt there are many brands who love that there are so many hobby bloggers who are excited just to be asked. It will take bloggers drawing the line on free advertising – and those who take their blogs seriously to collaborate to increase their influence – to get them to see the light: that your time is valuable.

      That they reply to a polite response that they might not have even received in the first place with an attitude shows their true colors. I’m with you. We don’t need them as much as they need us. That truth just hasn’t dawned on them yet.
      Gail Gardner would love you to read ..Happy Birthday GrowMap 3 Years Old TodayMy Profile

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