Yesterday Nate Ritter posted a comment on my story about Alaska Airlines – bringing up a good point about whether bloggers with a certain audience should refrain from lambasting companies with which they have had bad experiences.
Journalists have a clear code of ethics – as maintained by the Society of Professional Journalists. The code of ethics is built around the basic premise that journalists should “Seek Truth and Report It.” One section of the code says “Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”
But isn’t that what a blog is by definition? This is not a news site. It is a stream of personal commentaries on marketing and sometimes personal experiences.
I am very aware of the power of the blog and its ability to harm in Google searches and the like – and that makes me pause when I have a bad experience with a company. But when the experience goes as far as costing someone $900 out of their own pocket, and when the experience is representative of a whole industry-segment’s trend of disintegrating customer service – does that not give an individual the right to use his or her personal journal to retell the story?