|A Lesson in Ethics from D's Tim Rogers|
|by Sam Merten||Wed, Jul 18, 2007, 03:02 PM|
Nearly a month ago, I was enjoying a nice Friday afternoon in
“Did you read the post by Tim Rogers on FrontBurner?” Hunt asked.
I said no and explained I was spending the weekend in
Normally, any big news related to the
“…just because a guy killed someone 16 years ago doesn't mean he hasn't paid his debt to society and he isn't a good signature-gatherer,”
The icing on the cake was at the end of the post where
So I went on with the rest of my weekend and upon my return, I looked at
“Informed speculation” is as loose as it gets when it comes to attribution, but you have to figure the executive editor of D Magazine is likely to have some strong sources who are more “informed” than the rest of us.
So on June 22, one week before the deadline,
At 3:16 p.m. July 2, almost exactly 72 hours after Hunt’s announcement,
I had major issues with
1. D Magazine
2. the iPhone
4. the most contentious, high-profile civic matter in
As for the defense of his “informed speculation,”
“The informed speculation came from someone with a dog in the fight. And, yeah, it was pretty far off. But I do believe that my tipster sincerely believed the information. So I figure Hunt's referendum team did a masterful job of leaking to the other side information indicating that their own effort was failing -- thereby gaining an advantage. By making themselves look weak, they gave the opposition little reason to pull out their big guns.”
This is the part that really pushed me over the edge. I was having a flashback, which I’ll explain in just a second. But first, to suggest that Hunt or someone in her organization leaked any information without any proof is unethical. He makes a mistake by trusting some tipster with “a dog in the fight” and gets burned, so he turns it around and makes it sound like Hunt is the one being dishonest?
Now to my flashback. Most of you probably don’t know this, but I’m finishing my bachelor’s degree at SMU this summer. I only mention it because it was in a media ethics class when I met Tim Rogers back on April 24.
“We’re not going to spend a lot of time tracking stuff down like that because that sounds like real work. That sounds like making phone calls. That sounds like maybe asking for documents and we’re not going to beat the daily press -- radio, television and newspapers -- to the story,”
“Is that ethical? I don’t know,”
“What do you think about that?”
Rogers and I don’t see eye to eye when it comes to ethics, but we can agree on one thing. The
The next time
written by Nora Smithfield , July 19, 2007
I don't think SMU should ask Tim Rogers to speak about "ethical" blogging ever again. It sounds like he talked about "easy" blogging. I would ask for my money back.
written by M. Cocksure , July 19, 2007
In Tim's defense, FrontBurner is billed as "a snarky celebration of ignorance." So if readers take an erroneous post seriously, it's their fault. Tim and the others are simply vessels through which words pass. And words can be silly.
written by DM , July 19, 2007
It would appear to me that someone has blogenvy.
written by kayM , July 19, 2007
People like Tim shouldn't even comment about journalism or investigative writing. His lack of experience shows daily. He needs to just stick to "entertainment".
written by johnw , July 19, 2007
It's a blog. You know what you are getting when you read it, and you know to analytically evalutate the information with a more elevated level of speculation as to the validity of it. Get over it.
written by Katharine G. , July 19, 2007
The problem with most blogs is they have no editors and no fact checkers but readers believe them because they claim to be "journalism." Perhaps those who write for Frontburner should give this a close read: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
written by CH , July 19, 2007
You confuse Rogers with a real journalist. D Magazine is nothing more than a supermarket tabloid for the well-heeled.
written by Andy K. , July 19, 2007
Tim Rogers is a very, very funny writer. Loved his goofy lifestyle stuff when he was at The Met. Of course, back then he wasn't pretending to be a journalist. I'm not sure how coming up with lists of Dallas' top plastic surgeons and taco stands makes him one now.
written by smu grad , July 19, 2007
i never understood why tim is ex ed at D. especially since his only media experience was the met, a failure, and 93.3's morning show, from which he got canned. smart hire, wick
written by Fran G , July 19, 2007
"FrontBurner® has been called the best blog in town (repeatedly), a snarky celebration of ignorance, and a daily conversation about Dallas among the editors of D Magazine."
Well, that information needs to be more front and center. Right now, it's in tiny, tiny print on the right sidebar.
And besides that, it's not a disclaimer. It's a "review" likely written by its own editors, since there is no citation as to who said it.
There should be another disclaimer altogether: "If you're looking for accuracy, this ain't the place."
Calling it "the best blog in town" is very misleading. It may be the best "entertainment blog" in town. Or the best "snarky blog" in town. Or the best "goofball blog" in town. Any of those are more accurate.
I just looked over there and apparently the public can't even comment on their "blog" posts. So, now I wonder how they're getting away with calling FB a "blog"???
Just saw this: "Does Dallas Blog Want a War with FrontBurner"?
Well, at least they didn't call it the FrontBurner "blog."
written by Dallas Perfect Voter , July 20, 2007
Never confuse D Magazine with journalism. Egoism, maybe.
written by CH , July 20, 2007
The 'D" Bloggers - using the term loosely - consider themselves the purveyors of all that is cool and smart with Dallas and big players in a big city on par with the sacred(-monious) boardroom of The Dallas Morning News.
In reality it is a paltry circle-jerk of juvies playing in their electronic treehouse.
written by columbiasooner , July 23, 2007
Maybe you should have waited before you fire your "best" shots.
written by GRiD , July 31, 2007
One rule of blogging is to be short and concise regardless who is writing it. I have no idea what you just said by the time I got to the end.
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