Monday, December 20, 2010

When good blogs go bad – media standards apply

UPDATED where indicated – original post 12/15: Once upon a time Dan Casey’s blog at The Roanoke Times was entertaining and humorous. I had retreated from the uninspiring sanctimonious editorial board blog. It became an irritating exercise even when I agreed with them. They were either late to the topic or contained factual errors or fell short on substance.

What I do read are the commentaries. Some commentaries are so well formulated The Roanoke Times should pay them a few dollars and they could eliminate the RTEB.

Back to Casey’s blog. How readers perceive Casey’s blog is a direct reflection on The Roanoke Times. Repeat – a direct reflection on The Roanoke Times. All paid Roanoke Times staff blogs can reflect positively on a newspaper or can taint its image forever. A newspaper’s reputation online is no different then in print.

Casey comes up with some whoppers of stories. Some of which are entertaining and humorous -and who doesn’t enjoy the “caption this photo” contest. It is getting a little long in the tooth but hey people seem to like it.

Casey’s blog this week did a hit job on a political candidate. It brought upwards of 100 comments mostly from those eager to join him in the bashing. But what did it cost The Roanoke Times in credibility? Not only did Casey misstate the candidate’s position he twisted and framed it like, well heck just like one of those outlandish negative TV ads. Posts are HERE and HERE.

Casey doesn’t do much monitoring of his comments. This week’s comments ran amuck on the candidate he was denigrating.

So what’s wrong with that you say? When you pick one candidate to perform a hatchet job on you are advocating for the other candidate. This would be acceptable if he were independent of the newspaper that pays his salary.

Blog comments using duplicate IP addresses with different names went viral and vicious. They even questioned the candidate’s ethnicity, demanded a birth certificate and called him a Muslim. Casey never should have allowed such vicious comments.

UPDATED 12/20: 12. Has anyone seen this guy’s birth certificate? Habeeb sure isn’t what I would call a true American name. Has the NRA vetted this guy? Homeland Security OK with him? Is he a gasp, Muslim? I don’t recall any Southern Baptists with that name. Will Morgan Griffith be replaced with a TERRORIST? I’m going to stop now, with apologies to Mr. Habeeb, but with all of the flap over Obama’s birth certificate and loyalty to his country, can you imagine if Mr. Habeeb was a Democrat?

Comment — December 12, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

When I suggested to Casey that he not allow duplicate IP addresses to be posted:

99.Dan,

The RTEB doesn’t allow duplicate IP posts and will not release them. You should do the same. If it continues they should be banned from posting.

Comment by Valerie — December 14, 2010 @ 12:08 am

100.Valerie,

I have my own policy. It’s transparent, and it’s been very effective into shaming commentors into quitting the games. I’m not going to change it.

Comment by Dan Casey — December 14, 2010 @ 12:25 am

He not only allowed it but also commented himself instigating more hateful vitriol. Casey should know better then to take part and further the nasty rhetoric.

So you have the RTEB blog that is always right (sanctimonious). Dan Casey is going to hell in a hand basket. What happened to you Dan? There are other blogs I have not mentioned that are on topic and doing just fine.

I’ve left the Blue Ridge Caucus for last. So far they are adhering to some semblance of order. I rarely post but as a political junky I do read it. Just don’t let this blog turn into anything close to Dan Casey’s. I don’t think you will since you are reporters and Dan is well he just “is.”

Now about me – well hell you know I didn’t go to journalism school or major in English or anything close to it. I do the best I can with the intent to always do better. No I don’t make any money on my website – only a few dollars at the Roanoke Star-Sentinel.

Why do I do it? Because so much is left out of the news and I don’t have to worry about the number of inches. I do impose a deadline on myself and Lord knows I’ve learned you can’t cover everything. I’m just one “mature arthritic” person.

So that’s my little rant about Dan Casey’s blog. I’ve learned a lot communicating in forums with journalists that include subjects about how to avoid blogging mistakes. That’s one thing twitter and facebook has been good for – communicating with broadcasters and journalists throughout the country. Very interesting how the Roanoke region has it’s own “style.” Roanoke media seems to tread lightly when it comes to exposing shenanigans.

Added: 12/20: At the Virginia-Pilot Online – a good idea for The Roanoke Times:

Commenting on this article is open to verified users only | Learn how to become verified hereLogin or register to post comments

COMMENTS ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here; comments do not reflect the views of The Virginian-Pilot or its websites. Users must follow agreed-upon rules: Be civil, be clean, be on topic; don’t attack private individuals, other users or entire classes of people. Read the full rules here.

– Comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the report violation link below it.

Added 12/20: The New York Times fundamental online standards:

What should be avoided in all of them is any hint of racist, sexist or religious bias,or any suggestion of nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tone — “snark.” If something could easily fit in a satirical Web site for young adults, it probably shouldn’t go into the news pages of nytimes.com. Our ethics code promises that in all dealings with readers, “civility applies.”

Remember, blogs on the news side of NYTimes.com are not the personal, private blogs of the contributors, but blogs of Times employees, whose reputations depend on readers’ trust in their impartiality.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary

Tags: ,

Comments (44)

Val

December 15th, 2010 at 4:43 AM    


At the Virginia-Pilot Online – a good idea for The Roanoke Times:

Commenting on this article is open to verified users only | Learn how to become verified hereLogin or register to post comments

COMMENTS ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here; comments do not reflect the views of The Virginian-Pilot or its websites. Users must follow agreed-upon rules: Be civil, be clean, be on topic; don’t attack private individuals, other users or entire classes of people. Read the full rules here.
– Comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the report violation link below it.


[…] Read the original here: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad […]


[…] Read the original post: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad […]


[…] Continued here: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad […]


[…] Originally posted here: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad […]


[…] The rest is here: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad […]


[…] Read more: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad […]


[…] link: Roanoke Free Press » When good blogs go bad Tags: bashing, brought-upwards, casey, hit-job, join-him, only-did, roanoke, roanoke-times, week, […]

Dan Casey

December 15th, 2010 at 4:19 PM    


Valerie,

One of the ways you judge the honesty of a journalist is whether they own up to their mistakes. The truth is, all journalists make them (and so does everyone else). I made a mistake in characterizing Habeeb’s position on abortion to save the life of a mother. Not only did I explicitly correct it with an entirely new blog post, the new post linked to the old post with the mistake, and the old post noted high up that it was in error and linked to the correction. A ‘hit job’ (your term) wouldn’t have admitted error.

Now you’re using my own admission of error to tar and feather me. That is your right. But you haven’t admitted or corrected your own error-laden posts about Roanoke Meals Tax revenues declining (following the tax increase) when they actually increased. You’ve screwed up on that more than once, and you have neither admitted those errors nor corrected them.

For that reason it’s difficult for me to take your little ‘hit job’ seriously. It reeks of a blogger desperate to stir something up.

You can approve this post or not.

Frankly, it would never occur to me to lecture you on which posts you should and should not allow on your own blog.

Merry Christmas, and hope your mood improves!

Val

December 15th, 2010 at 4:55 PM    


You were wrong about the meals tax Dan. My information came directly from the Director of Finance Ann Shawver. She read my article and it WAS correct.

“Overall August 2010 meals tax revenue fell 1% compared to August 2009.”

How are you feeling – struck a nerve I see.

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at info@roanokefreepress.com put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

Leave a Reply