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Huckleberries Online

Blogmeister Ken: Are Blogs Held To Same Standard?

An interesting, if a bit esoteric, discussion has been bouncing around the newsroom the last couple of days. In Sunday's paper, we ran a news brief (third item) about a candidacy announcement that was attributed to Dave Oliveria's Huckleberries Online blog. Oliveria got the tip from a good source on background, posted it to his blog, and notified the newsroom. The reporter, who was already working his tail off to file two stories for Sunday's paper, wrote the brief using the blog as a source to meet editors' demands to get the story into the paper quickly.

Of course, we can't use ourselves as a source for a story. The conclusion was that we should have called the candidate for confirmation, and Oliveria acknowledges he should have included some information on the blog about how he heard the news. Bottom line: We hold all news to the same standards, regardless of whether its online or in print.

But that raises a question - do readers hold information they read on the Internet to a different standard? Do you trust a story more because it's in black-and-white on a sheet of newsprint, or does it make a difference? What about things like typos and grammatical errors?

Blogmeister Ken Paulman

Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.