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Microphones in the corporate embassy

"Conference organizers cannot make an event off the record only for the official journalists anymore," wrote Gillmor. "The rules of 'journalism,' whatever that is, are changing. This is just one more example."

 

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It's like a Freedom of Business Information Act, implemented by individual interested parties (and, perhaps, shareholders).

What's amazing about the Web as a social space is that it has succeeded in reproducing and in many ways even reinforcing traditional power relations between social groups.

 

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We have implemented one important feature, though: it is acceptable to disagree with as much passion as you wish.  People may be driven off, you may cause arguments, dissent, anger, or pain; but you're welcome to your opinion, and that is a protected ideal in this blogging thing.

In general, there is a higher standard of behavior expected from the media and a higher level of formality when dealing with the media, not just because they report things, but because people believe what they say and act on that belief, sometimes with serious consequences.

 

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I'm not sure that I want a corporation choosing whether I have the right to tell others about what they say to me.  I don't like signing non-disclosure agreements because of this: it's not in my interest to be limiting my freedom of speech.

Well, duh. Although such bloggers really should be wearing one of these. Big Blogger is blogging you.

 

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This is a brilliant idea; does it glow in the dark?

If we're going to want these sorts of conferences with this sort of people, with wifi and unrestricted access, and all sorts of other lovely attractions, then we must, as a community, respect people's wishes. Creating false distinctions between bloggers and journalists in order to let one of our number break the rules can only backfire on everyone.

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I will uphold the Chatham House Rule; can you tell us more about Chatham House?

When it's 'off the record' there are normally good reasons why it's not for publication but they want to tell you something so you can understand the context. Does this mean that Chatham House Rules don't apply to journalists with blogs? What if a newspaper wants to quote Denise's weblog, because the info is already out there now? Should all journalists with blogs be asked to leave the room first? Are the rules, as Dan suggests, changing?

As the public media is corporate these days, you could quite seriously file antitrust if they try to restrict journalism directly.  We're not *powerless* in the legal system, just without funding – though Blogger's got a little bit of that.

First, conference organizers cannot make an event off-the-record only for the official journalists anymore. If they truly want it that way, they'll have to get everyone else to make the same agreement. Second, in the world of blogs and other self-publishing, these kinds of arrangements are unenforceable in any event. The rules of "journalism," whatever that is, are changing. This is just one more example.

 

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The rules of ethics are changing.  The protocol of communication between business and blogger is fresh, and not yet set in stone.  I'm heartened greatly by the comments I see about this issue; they're a discussion ranging free, with one apparently shared opinion: this event has changed things.

Now, I have no idea what the conference's press pass policy was, but I'm assuming those who attended on one�and agreed to the associated terms�were exempted from registration fees. In other words, as we lawyers might say, there was consideration given for the reporting ground rules imposed on the professional journalists attending as such. And perhaps not just financial consideration. As Wurman also pointed out, some conferences are off limits to the press altogether.

 

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The event organizers could be trapped in their own contracts: the restrictions may not be in place for those who paid to be there &mdash.   If you put new restrictions in place, attendees can't share things learned with their corporation back at home, for fear of the information "leaking" -- which it will, in any case.

link: http://www.ranea.org/watts/archives/000048.html

link:

seen at: FuzzyTech

Comments

Chatham House is the headquarters of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. http://www.riia.org/

Tremendously good lectures and library, if you're into that sort of thing. The Rule comes from the fact that most of the speakers are current highranking politicians and statesmen, who want to speak candidly but without fear of what they say being misreported.

Well, that's remarkably nice. Yes, I'm into that sort of thing; not really in the right place to exercise those skills yet. Still worth learning ahead of time, though.

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