by Roger Pynn
What happens when reporters comment in a blog on stories they have written?
Have they stepped across the line and become columnists?
Can they go back?
When Orlando Sentinel Reporter Jim Stratton posted this did he cross the line and become a member of the paper’s opinion staff?
Stratton and colleague David Damron wrote a significant story about the work of myregion.org– a group of regional leaders dedicated to smart growth – then in his blog he makes very clear what his opinions are. Does that signal what motivated him as he wrote the story? Can people of differing opinions understandably now take issue?
As a matter of full disclosure, I am a member of that organization’s board of directors. I won’t take issue here with what Stratton and Damron wrote. But I will question the newspaper’s judgment in letting reporters blog. I think it is bad practice.
As a former reporter (in fact for the Orlando Sentinel) I was taught and told “never express your opinion.” Why has that changed?