Publishing in the “Old School” Approach (i.e. “Professional Journalism”) is Built upon a Lie
The lie is: We’re not advertising anything. The truth is: All of your “journalistic ethics” are bogus.
The second goal was a long time coming. Advertising hasn’t traditionally held up a code of ethics the way that traditional publishing has been flaunting a high-fallutin “journalistic code of ethics” — not only for a couple of years, but rather for several decades. Benetton was perhaps one of the leaders: their ads presented “real” images from around the world (and that was before the Internet). Benetton put the notion of “no holds barred” into the advertising marketplace.
Freedom and Transparency Will Live Long and Prosper
As the Internet develops, online advertising is also continually developing. More and more, online advertising is engaging communities — basically: it is becoming not only interactive, but also transparent. Indeed, the transparent community (most clearly defined by the “web domain“) is the medium.
Mark Zuckerburg (the founder of Facebook.COM) is a visionary. Facebook.COM’s Beacon application was an experiment in unmitigated transparency — at least with respect to “users” actions. In the future, transparency will spread into more and more spheres of online activity, and the web sites that take a proprietary stance and/or try to protect proprietary secrets will simply become avoided. That happened to Facebook, and it will happen to Google, YouTube, … it will happen to any website that attempts to “secretly” collect data that users are willing to offer freely and transparently.
The era of “controlled” media (media that are managed by professionals only) is over. If journalists continue to impose rules upon themselves — rules which (if followed) would result in self-censorship (and therefore are incredible) — such “professional” journalism will wane and ultimately cease to exist.
I was present at an address Susan Sontag gave in Tübingen several years ago. She described how it is not necessary to “put all of your cards on the table” — the reader will appreciate it if the writer acknowledges the fact that the reader has a brain and also has the ability to think.
So please, to all journalists — whether very professional or hardly professional: Do not promise to shoot yourself in the foot! If you do, then no one will believe you — and then you might find that you will soon need to look for a new job… and the new jobs will increasingly be found in the context of open and transparent online communities… (with “no holds barred”