March 8, 2009

If this is New Media, Count me Out. [advertorial, Huffington Post, elephant journal, web site]


I’m a big fan of SRO and her work in advancing eco- and socially-responsible fashion into mainstream American consciousness. At the age of 24 (I think) she’s done more than myself and all but a few Americans to take green mindfulness mainstream.

Still, as an old school BU-trained journalist, I have to say in good conscience that the above article may tilt a bit too far toward advertising, or marketing—and away from editorial journalism. Obviously, all of us unpaid columnists on Huff Post are advancing our own agendas to some extent, and again Summer Rayne’s cause—a less toxic, more responsible, beautiful world—couldn’t be nobler. To that end I’ve reviewed her awesome new book (even without seeing it), blogged repeatedly on her various heroic activities…

(as is evidenced by the kajillions of interviews, videos, reviews, mentions and articles we’ve done on or related to her over the past three years)

…still, I can’t help but hope that ‘new media’ will be more than a platform for infomercials and advertorials, no matter how worthy the cause. Looking at the speedily-franchising Examiner…

(which pays its writers per click and therefore attracts a lot of bullshiite advertorial, event listings, biased PR etc. from hack journalists)

…as an example of successful (that is, monetized) online media, I don’t hold out a lot of hope. 

And so, if journalism is to be democratized, it’s up to each of us who dares blog to watch our conscience and personally uphold some consideration of journalistic integrity. If it ain’t an article, that’s fine: call it a plug, and we’ll forgive you.

Especially if you’re as charming as Summer Rayne Oakes.

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