You and I have been talking about the possibility of commenting on some particular celebrities. Bill O’Reilly had a segment this evening on that very topic. The world of celebrity blogging apparently is very big and popular. The problem is that they have crossed the line with fabricating stories. We have compared blogging to journalism and you and I have agreed that, while we editorialize, we will try to maintain some standard of dignity.
The story O’Reilly and his guest reviewed tonight was on Hannah Montana, or in reality Molly Cyrus – daughter of the achy breaky Billy Ray Cyrus. Apparently one of the celebrity blogs picked up a legitimate story that was written in a teen magazine and literally changed the story to say the Molly Cyrus was pregnant and she was apologizing to her fans. O’Reilly reports that story is not true.
This sort of behavior by out-of-control bloggers discredits all of us. A hundred years ago there were journalists that fudged the truth to sell newspapers. They became known as ‘yellow journalists. The blogging industry is in its infancy. There are credible bloggers who operate according to a set of principles and are very good writers.
The internet Wikipedia defines yellow journalism: Yellow journalism is a pejorative reference to journalism that features scandal-mongering, sensationalism, jingoism or other unethical or unprofessional practices by news media organizations or journalists. It has been loosely defined as “not quite libel” Well – the new era of libelous bloggers are a bunch of Skeeterites.
My hope is that one day you and I can join the rank of respected bloggers. There will be people who will not like us – but that is OK as long as we hold to principles of dignity. We will never become Skeeterites.
Who is Rita Skeeter?
See Also: On Writing, Blogging, Journalism