In short, a blogger wrote an e-mail to Target, the big-box retailer, taking it to task for using an image of questionable taste on a billboard in Times Square. Target blithely dismissed the blogger's concerns on the grounds that they "do not participate with nontraditional media outlets." According to Barbaro, "Target’s policy is to focus limited resources on the big media outlets, like television stations and newspapers, which reach large numbers of shoppers."
The Times asked its readers to weigh in on a question first posed by myself and Devin Stewart in October: Do you think bloggers should expect to be treated the same as traditional media outlets?
Some of the responses:
To me, most blogs are a disappointment. They are quickly taken over by hardened "pros" and hardened "cons" whereas they seem to be a vehicle to explore different ideas. -- Deweyjon
No, althought the news media may be somewhat biased in its reporting; most bloggers are far too opinionated to relate objectively without reflecting their opinions. Of course, ideally, all reporting should be objective and non-biased. — Bill M
you think that I should be allowed to perform back-of-the-eye surgery just because I happen to have an opinion on its benefits and drawbacks? — ErikK
And my personal favorite:
Real journalists tend to have some education as journalists and some exposure to journalistic ethics. They maybe even had to pass a class or two in college dealing with the legal and ethical issues in their profession.There is not yet anything resembling a professional code of ethics for bloggers. And anyone with an Internet connection who can type can call himself or herself a blogger. It's the Wild West out there.In view of that, I don't think bloggers should expect to be treated like real journalists. — Patricia