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May 08, 2005

TIM WORSTALL has posted his weekly BritBlog roundup.

Tim also has a response to Adam Cohen's unimpressive ruminations on blog ethics in today's New York Times, and so does The Mudville Gazette.

I should note that all the chin-pulling about journalistic ethics didn't really start until newspapers became monopoly enterprises. Where monopolies are concerned, we tend to look to regulation, because we can't trust the market to do the job. But although newspapers -- and, to a substantial degree, broadcast news operations -- are monopolies or near-monopolies, blogs certainly aren't.

In our ethics book, The Appearance of Impropriety, Peter Morgan and I noted the use of ethics establishments as smokescreens concealing deeper institutional problems. I think that most of the late-twentieth-century ethics apparatus, and certainly much of the journalistic ethics apparatus, falls into that category. But competition is coming, and the Times is already starting to feel a touch of discipline. Which I suspect is what motivated Cohen's column to begin with. . . .

UPDATE: As Virginia Postrel writes in Forbes, "There's something about blogs that makes a lot of respectable journalists hyperventilate."

ANOTHER UPDATE: Free Range Librarian:

I realize Cohen's column is just commentary on the opinion page of the national newspaper of record, but where are the facts grounding this piece? "It is hard to know who many bloggers are," states Cohen, a comment I read in his article which at last count has already been linked to dozens of blogs written by people with painfully thorough "about pages" and blog names as eponymously transparent as Grant's Tomb. Let me ask you, Adam: who do you think writes Edcone.com?

Heh.