CJR Daily today observes,
Say that blogs are granted the same protections as news organizations. What is to stop, say, corporations or trade unions from setting up stealth blogs to promote their agenda, while collecting funds from the public or to spend on ads to promote their own interested point of view?One might ask, what's to stop corporations, religious organizations, or chambers of commerce from setting up stealth news organizations to promote their agenda?
Many partisan bloggers are little more than political activists, and as activists they raise funds for their own pet political causes, something reporters don't -- and can't -- do. In this, they should be included under campaign finance laws.But "reporters" apparently can obtain secret, lucrative contracts from the government to push a particular story or perspective. News organizations can carelessly (or perhaps intentionally) run "video news releases" which are disguised as news coverage. Mainstream "reporters" and columnists can act as willing conduits for dubious (or false) stories to advance their careers and curry favor with politicians. Reporters at press conferences for important subjects can act like sheep, afraid of being culled from the herd if they ask tough questions.
In the end, it's a complicated issue, and both sides have salient points.True. But who's the pot and who's the kettle?