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?