On Mercenary Blogging @ Zirma.com


Along with an endorsement of the Rolling Rains Report Zirma.com has a timely reflection on journalistic standards and the use and misuse of blogging.

Sponsored blogs and a conflict of interest

We could hypothesize that one of the reasons why many people read blogs is becase they find them more reliable. That is, they’re produced by common people, not professional journalists. In the travel area, newspapers supplements and magazine articles are not always quite believable. All of the destinations are beautiful and, apparently, the traveller never has greater problems. Facing this, bloggers stories, who generally travel as mere tourists to the destinations they visit and pay the ticket with their own money, are usually pretty different. No one treats them better, simply; they’re not journalists and no one knows they will write a note about that destination that will probably be read by thousands of people in the Internet.

But this is changing. For some months now, some tourism agencies in the United States have started to pay bloggers to make references to certain locations. The trend is strong enough to make journalist focus on it. For example, the newspaper USA Today dedicated a note to “sponsored bloggers” analyzing the cases of blogs that tell stories of travellers in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, but that are actually sponsored by the tourism offices of the place. The main problem is, at least in the case of Milwaukee, readers are not aware of the district’s “financial help”.


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