Kool-aid follow-up and journalistic ethics


The Kool-Aid didn’t do much. I left it on for 3 hours. It added a touch of color to the brown hair, but only the slightest bit to the white hair. That’s OK; it was basically just a goofy experiment since I had the materials on hand. I think the thing is that you have to use heat, and I didn’t.

Regarding the post earlier about Edward Scissorhands — a commenter thought I was being “mean-spirited” somehow in what I said. I am not sure how. First, the tickets clearly come from the promoters working on behalf of the show. Second, they suggested that I promote a ticket code in the blog. This is pretty clearly a marketing effort on behalf of the show. (And not a terrible one, either.) Now, I am grateful for the tickets, and appreciate them very much — but I feel pretty strongly that I should be upfront about whether I am getting freebies before I post reviews or recommendations. Because those will affect how you interpret what I say.

I was a journalist at one point. I have gotten a lot of press passes to various events. Most journalists do. (I sort of miss that about it, actually… I was dead broke back then but always got to go to a lot of great shows.) The publications I worked for then didn’t say up front, “hey, our reviewers are going to all of these shows for free,” possibly because it was assumed that everyone knew that the press always gets in free. (Some publications don’t accept any freebies whatsoever, but I don’t know if that means they don’t let their reviewers get in on “the list” or what. And I imagine the publication pays for anything that must be paid for, so it’s probably free to the reporter either way.)

Now that my only writing is in a blog, if I write about something I enjoy, people probably don’t think of me as “the press”; they probably think of me as an individual writing about things I enjoy (or not). If I say that I went for pizza and it was great, they probably don’t expect that I got the pizza for free with the knowledge that I might write about it. Because, these days, I don’t get those kind of press benefits. (And I don’t write that many reviews, though I’ve considered expanding what I post here.)

I would like to believe that when I read someone’s opinion on a blog, that it is that person’s honest opinion, and not something they posted because they are getting free stuff and want to keep getting more. So that is why I posted as I did. I got a bit of a windfall, and that’s OK and I am grateful, but when I do write about the show, I am going to post honest opinions whether I like the show or not.

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