After reading Rettberg’s chapter on types of blogs and the way in which advertisements and monetized incentives can affect blog content, I tried to think about how this applied to the blog that I read the most, /Film. The blog is one where readers can get fresh info on new films that are in production or in theaters, as well as links to content such as trailers or behind-the-scenes video/images.
The first thing that came to mind after reading Rettberg, and specifically the story about the Walmart bloggers who were sponsored to drive across America by Walmart, was an instance on /Film when the unclear line was addressed. I wanted to read a film review of a certain film that was soon to be released, but all I got was a story and an apology. Apparently the writer who had been assigned to go to the press screening of the film ended up getting flown out to some fancy hotel, a free trip to some local attraction, and other certain perks to reviewing the film. While he made it clear that very often in the film critic profession studios work very hard to make sure critics are happy when reviewing their films, the blogger had decided that his trip had been to extravagant and that to review the film would be unfair and impartial. He apologized to readers who were hungry for info on the film.
While I was one of the people disappointed not to read about the movie, I respected the choice. We are living in a culture now, and have seen this in class, where the rules are changing. The golden rules of journalism don’t necessarily apply to web and sometimes it is unclear what is appropriate/professional when it comes to blogging and online journalism. I think that rules are being formed, and that many are getting it right. I just think the fact that this gray area was addressed in the blog shows that the writer was aware of the implications of what he writes and was attempting to maintain the rules that we need.