Last week, we talked with Brian Cook of MGoBlog about the panel at Blogs with Balls that focused on ethics. Go back and listen to that show, but the long and short of it was the issue that, well, some blogs don’t have any ethics and it dumbs down the entire industry for the readers and hurts the rest of us who do have ethics. (There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the gist, and most of that centers around the tete-a-tete with Spencer Hall of SB Nation and Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead.
Alana Nguyen from YardBarker was on that panel, and took a lot of heat — including from me and Cook — about her comment asking, ostensibly, why a blog has to have ethics if they don’t want to. Specifically, Alana commented on Josh Zerkle’s decision not to run a story because he didn’t want to run it without checking the facts first, to which Alana asked why it’s not okay to write the rumor, simply explaining it’s a rumor and not verifying the validity. That, rightly, got people pretty upset, and spawned a lot of discussion, including much of what Cook and I discussed.
Today, Alana joins the show to give her side of the story. Keep in mind that ethics, especially when it comes to sports blogs, is a really gray area. Spencer’s ethical issue with The Big Lead was the fact that they ran information that was made up and didn’t bother to check out a source or independently confirm a story they received in an email. Other people sent me that what Spencer did in duping TBL — albeit on April Fool’s Day — was unethical in its own right. So, as you can see, there are different kinds of ethics.
Click the headline to continue reading and listen to the show…
Brian Cook of MGoBlog and The Sporting Blog was on a panel at Blogs with Balls in Chicago. It was not the panel on ethics, but if you watch the video, his voice makes a cameo somewhere after Spencer Hall got into a little blog tete-a-tete with The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre. That’s at the 24:00 mark (or thereabouts).
Seriously, watch the exchange between Jason and Spencer, which spills into the rest of the panel and includes others in the crowd (including Cook). It will give you some context. Or, go to MGoBlog as Cook transcribed the entire thing.
Look, ethics are somewhat of a sliding scale, depending on the site, right? See, there are different kind of ethics. Spencer challenged McIntyre for his lack of ethics in checking sources and running a story based on a made up email and a cursory Google search on April Fool’s Day. Spencer claims that illustrates The Big Lead’s lack of ethics in checking sources and being a responsible journalist, making the case that other sites — like SB Nation — suffer when bigger blogs act so irresponsibly.
Cook and I discuss the flip side, as well. I got an email (from someone in the industry) asking me if I thought what SPENCER did was ethical at all? He made up a story and sent it to a rival site in hopes that story would be run, then used the ruse to prove his point that the site was unethical.
So, as was posed to me, Cook and I discuss which was the less ethical act. And is it that easy?
This is show two of two today. No show tomorrow. Don Povia from HHR and Blogs with Balls joins the show to plug the event this weekend at Wrigley Field in Chicago. We run through a brief list of some of the panels and panelists making the trip to Chicago. For those not in attendance we — yes, I am not going this weekend — can watch on Justin.TV
Check out Blogs with Balls official site for more information.
The conversation looks back at the last year from the first BwB until now. What’s changed, and exactly how pie-in-the-sky were we last year? Or, looking back, were we dead on with our future projections of new media, social media and sports blogs?
I’ll admit, there is a lot of inside blog stuff about this show, and much of it stems from the conversation on yesterday’s show about The Big Lead getting The Big Buyout. Will that dominate the talk at BwB? And how much do we expect that news to change anything for anyone else?
There’s a lot to this conversation, and assuredly, some frank conversations about a lot of the bigger names and bigger sites in our little world.
Make sure to check out the BwB site before Saturday. And after Saturday for whatever videos and other stuff you missed.