Who you gonna call?
Below is my comment regarding Stowe Boyd's intelligent response to my Nokia N90 rant. I thought I'd post it in full, because I feel strongly about the subject. Oh, and Andy - stop it with the fatuous 'thankyous' already! Do you want me to reinstate your status as a drone?
My comment to Stowe:
Impartiality is a dangerous myth?
What the N90 blog has started is a real polarisation (that's English for polarization) of the blogging landscape. And it's done this by blurring boundaries. Hmm, weird.
Firstly, Nokia's blog isn't a corporate blog. It's a delivery mechanism for corporate material and a forum for reprinting bloggers' comments and responding to them with corporate messaging. Let's call it a 'blog marketplace'. I also think it's brilliantly clever, and a great blueprint for other PR 2.0 websites.
But as a journalist, my entire ethos is based on the concept of the Fourth Estate. In brief, it means that without a free and impartial press, civilisation crumbles.
The power of the Fourth Estate varies wildly from country to country. At one end of the scale, Government-owned media companies pump out self-perpetuating propaganda for those in power. At the other end, the free press regulates and controls those in power, including individuals attempting to amass vast personal wealth through commercial activity.
America seems to sit in the middle. The press is owned by the advertisers. We are seeing the ongoing erosion of ethical reportage in favour of short-sighted pandering to the corporations that wield the dollars.
And this is what is happening in the blogosphere. People are publishing. Social broadcasting means anyone can be an influencer. But within this society of social broadcasters is a huge range of people. There are people that are publishing to wide audiences with no concept of the responsibility that comes with being a part of the mass media. And there are others who do.
With no set guidelines as to how to protect the interests of the public, we are risking giving everything to the corporations, and keeping nothing for ourselves.
As I said in my original post, I just hope the true press stays in place as the filter between the corporate message and the public at large.