The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Date: 12/25/2005

Privacy of blogs and ethics of journalism

John Robinson of the News and Record and Ted Vaden of the News and Observer try navigating the questions I raised in my note to Matt Dees earlier this week, questions that were asked again by others in response to News and Observer Editor Melanie Sill’s blog entry on covering blogs as a part of a story. The question is of course which parts of which story? Or as JR restates the thread [taken from Ted Vaden’s NandO piece – pj]: “Can publication of online information be an invasion of privacy? What’s the age cutoff for publishing children’s blogs? How aware is the young person of the effect of publication?”
I’m beginning to see that Phil Meyer and I will disagree on much of this as my own thoughts are getting better formed. I continue to be informed by Fred Stutzman’s study of privacy expectations and of what is actually revealed on the web by students using Facebook as I think about the ethical questions surrounding journalistic uses of information found in personal blogs.

Blog secrets anything but

Says Matt Dees in his News and Observer article out today which includes snatches of our conversation earlier this week. For the record, I did point to Fred Stutzman’s research on privacy directly in our conversation. Other than that I think Matt used my conversation with him as fully and as wisely as the article demands. (But see my note earlier this week on the appropriateness of using the blogs of kids).

War on Christmas (Interplanetary edition)

Santa v. Martians
A major event in the war on Christmas was documented in one of my delightful gifts — Santa Claus Conquers the Martians novelization and DVD of the 1964 film which features not only Pia Zadora as a child actress but much of the same scramble footage as seen in Dr. Strangelove (which was released the same year).
Also in the movie, the original version of the traditional Christmas carol “Hooray for Santy Claus.”
Also available at

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