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C'est moi.

  • Writer. Photographer. Activist. Explorer. Thinking globally; dwelling in possibility.
Tara Bradford Photography

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  • "A poet's work is to name the unnameable; to point at frauds; to take sides; start arguments; shape the world and stop it from going to sleep." - Salman Rushdie

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La photographie a un prix!


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30 May 2011

Comments

Marilyn

I totally agree with you on this one. I started blogging today about our adventure in Asia. It isn't quite as delightful as I usually write, but then I was traveling on my own dime. Hugs!

ally bean

I agree with you, of course. But then no one has ever wanted to comp me for a trip, so I guess that my ethics haven't been tested.

Still, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I'd never do anything underhanded like accepting free mdse/trips and then not telling my readers. I'm conscientious to a fault-- and fear karma-- and know that my mother would come back from the grave to read me the riot act if I ever did anything like that! So really, all things considered, I think that I'll stay on the ethical side of the blogosphere.

Natalie

Seriously? That's so wrong to accept bribes like that. And it's a lousy way to treat your readers. If you happen to be a positive sort of person and tend to write positive things about a place, that's great, but you should never be obligated to do so. I suppose the only way one could do this is to state up front that the trip was paid for and then continue with honest reporting, and call themselves a tourist. Period.

Mary H.

Well, Miss "Old School," eloquent and heartfelt per usual. I agree with you 100%. Seems manners and ethics are falling by the wayside as common sense is being bred out of the human species. I truly believe this some days more than others! The incident with the photographer is especially irksome. I am sure that karma will deal him what he truly deserves one day.

Barbara

Chris, above, makes an excellent point, I think. We would do well to remember that in recent years there has been a concerted effort by numerous parties to disguise their spin as 'authoritative' commentary or endorsement. I love the quote from Simon Calder: "The people with the best stories to tell live life in the cheap seats." Yea.

Charles Baker

The same goes for so-called Book Review bloggers who are just a wee bit too cozy with publishers; I would be much more likely to respect their opinions if it cost them something to formulate them.

Merisi in Vienna

I support your stance, anything else I consider dishonest, to say the least.
I am afraid, though, not everybody has even heard of Ethics 101.


Chris

What an interesting post. This has always been one of the questions on the forefront for me. When I hear a glowing report about anything, whether it be a restaurant, a film, even a book, I try to research the source of that material in terms of objectivity and independence. It's especially important now, when Corporatism is becoming even stronger and less questioned. I believe the only thing that is going to ensure our reporters stay independent is a refusal to accept their reports blindly. However, I'm continually reminded as time goes on, there is less critical thinking in mainstream society. Critical thinking is the opposite of passive acceptance, and I feel is the best way to ensure reporters strive to objectivity.

Bloggers are only as influential as we make them. That's a place for thinking critically (NOT the same as negatively), as well. The reader has to take responsibility, and to call out reporters when they are disingenuous, or blatantly unethical.

.

leonie

Nicely written Tara.

Must declare from the outset that I have no idea who you are talking about, though I think your point about NOT compromising journalistic integrity is important.

If that means full disclosure, then fine.

If someone is covering the fact that their all-expenses paid trip is anything other than that, then surely they won't be taken seriously for long and their reputation will suffer for it?

Well, I would hope that is the case anyway....!

rochambeau

Hello Tara,
With grace and eloquence you are able to state thoughts that I agree with.
While working for a newspaper as a stylist, we were not to accept gifts, never!

The photographer is a total disappointment too. The older I get, I realize how many people are just like that person and it is sad.
No one is perfect, but when we strive to be civil, the world becomes a better place.

xox
Constance

Laurie

Tara, this seems like the equivalent of the "fam" (familiarization) trips that have been offered to travel agents for years.. Just out of high school I worked as a travel agent and had the opportunity to go on two of them. Plane tickets were paid by the airlines, and I think the hotels paid for accommodations and tours. This was all designed to encourage the participants to recommend their services, or destination, when working with customers. People who made their living--which was usually quite modest--in the travel industry were able to travel to places they might never have been able to afford, and learn about these destinations to better guide their customers. While they might not have been able to experience a destination outside of the planned itinerary, they certainly provided a valuable service to many. And those that made solid recommendations were rewarded with repeat business, so it was in their best interest to be objective. If a blogger is merely an online version of the travel agent then they also provide a service to certain audience. However, if they bill themselves as something different than that then I imagine their success will be short lived. What I love about the www is that we have so many outlets to get the information we are seeking.

martina

Paying your own way not only gives the travel blogger/photographer better insight but also the freedom to give honest opinions re: locales. Same thing with people who blog about products advertised in their blog sidebars without admitting same. If I had a blog or did travel writing, would not accept free merchandise/trips.

Tracy

(That) photographer suggests even sight is choice. Since most choices will eventually require determined unyielding intent, this is a guy hard at work on his blindness.
It's also one of those stories that make me want to tell the rest of the Universe I'm from Mars in the same way that I would tell the rest of the world I'm Canadian, but it's hard to pull off with a Texas accent...

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