Monday, May 21, 2007


The One & Only AK sent us this link to Monday's News-Leader editorial, "Bloggers should not hide names."

The local daily recently began reprinting items from some city and regional blogs. Monday, the paper's wise guys and gals wrote:
[W]e have a challenge for the bloggers and all the people out there in Internet land who comment on blogs and news stories, including those who use our forums.

Put your name on it. ...

[T]oo much of the conversation going on in the "blogosphere" is anonymous, and we want to do our part to put an end to that.

The fact is that the best blogs in Springfield and Missouri have names attached to them. We've made a conscientious decision to pull mostly from those blogs when we republish their content on our pages.
Generally we favor a real name over a nom de blogguerre, the same way we're usually opposed to profanity on blogs. Credibility is enhanced when a reader knows the source of a report and doesn't have to wade through clots of profanity. The same holds true for spelling and basic grammar; someone who doesn't know how to spell shouldn't be taken seriously as a source for written information. Old newspapering habits die hard.

But -- and it's a but as big as Jessica Biel's behind -- we think 'net consumers should make the ultimate decision on what's an "acceptable" blog. Anonymity shouldn't be a hard-and-fast barrier used to keep bloggers from reaching a broader audience; some local bloggers don't use their given names because they're writing about issues in their workplace, and public exposure could lead to retaliation.

And, as any journalist can tell you, anonymous sources often hold the key to bigger truths. Imagine if Al Neuharth would have been running the Washington Post between 1972-74. His absolute ban on anonymous sources would have kept Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from breaking that little story known as Watergate.

So: Less anonymity in Greater Blogistan? Sure. A call to end anonymous blogging? Bad idea.


Anonymous said...

It's about time and I for one am all for it.

Anonymous said...

Can we assume the authors of today's Our View are counting the N-L's buzzosphere/marketing tool among "the best blogs in Springfield"?
If I wanted Tony or Don anyone else to know who I was, I'd join into their conversation with Telemarkman and Weavermom. But I don't. And I find the anonyblogging over here in Ronland is ever so much more free and fun.

Busplunge said...

It's really funny, I guess I see things. I blogged Sunday evening about outing myself on my blog, no more anonymity....I was all set to do it, when my grandson wanted to play catch in the backyard, I signed off and forgot to sign the blog.
Now, after reading RonDee's post, I may have to rethink? Sometimes anonymity makes for hilarious reading, as in Ozark Politics!
I don't even know if anybody reads me anyhow.

Blue Girl, Red State said...

If they are so damned hot to know my secret identity, they should give me the resources to do the job up right, and they can get it from my W-2.

Until then, they can bite me.

Anonymous said...

You rock, blue girl.

Anonymous said...

maybe someday the snooze-leader will get the chatter address correct. that may be one reason to keep your name from those lunatics. i mean, if you can't spell r-o-n, then you're basically screwed.

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