From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? #544505-00005

Submission Number:
Susan Getgood
Blog with Integrity
Initiative Name:
From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?

October 28, 2009 I write to request a position as a panelist at your December workshop on media, “From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?" Blog with Integrity is an organization created in 2009 around the concept that sound ethical practices should guide the work of bloggers. We believe that we have an important message to share at the workshop on December 1 and 2 about the role of bloggers in the new media landscape. Social media has the power to inform and drive debate, and with that comes responsibility. We form relationships with our readers that go beyond the relationships that can be built in traditional media. To successfully meet their expectations, we must be fully transparent and treat our readers and other bloggers with respect. It is also important to distinguish the blog form from the content. While most bloggers are not journalists, some are, following the same principles, standards and practices used in traditional media. An important part of our mission is to help bloggers and readers (consumers) understand the difference and successfully navigate the shifting digital media landscape. The Blog with Integrity pledge was created in July 2009 to provide bloggers with a tangible and collective way to express our commitment to a simple code of blogging conduct. In an environment of polarizing debates about blogger compensation, sponsored posts and product reviews, an alarming increase in ethical lapses and idea theft, and a growing backlash against poor blogger relations practices, we believed it was time to refocus on integrity. The Blog with Integrity pledge recognizes that there’s no single right way to blog and more than enough room in the world for different approaches. What matters is the relationship with our readers. Meeting our commitment to them and to our community. Clear disclosure of our interests so they can evaluate our words. Treating others with respect. Taking responsibility for our words and actions. Since the pledge was launched on July 22, 2009, more than 1600 bloggers have signed. In Fall 2009, we extended the project with the creation of the Blog with Integrity Education Center. The Education Center will serve as an independent, informational resource for the blogging community. The first educational webinar, Disclosure: What It Means, Why Bloggers Need It and How To Get It Right, was held September 9, 2009; future sessions will include an update of the Disclosure session (November 10, 2009), Copyright & Fair Use and Responsible Blogging. Webinars are free to the blogging community through the generous support of sponsors. The Blog with Integrity Education Center will also provide speakers for industry events, and work with government, individuals and organizations to promote the principles of the Blog with Integrity pledge. My bio appears on the attached sheet. For more information about our organization, please visit or feel free to contact me. Thanks so much for considering our participation and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Susan Getgood Managing Director and Co-Founder