ZDNet editorial independence and blogging about politics [off-topic]

Following a political cartoon posting, some folks incorrectly suggested that ZDNet and CBS management have influence over blog content. That suggestion is flat wrong.

Editorial independence and blogging about politics

Last Friday, I posted a political cartoon that sparked a lively debate among talkbackers. In that discussion, some folks incorrectly suggested that ZDNet and CBS management have influence over blog content. That suggestion is flat wrong.

One commenter seemed to think ZDNet bloggers are part of a politically motivated "media machine:"

Seriously, what is this [political topic] doing on ZDNet? Oh, wait, I forgot, they got bought out by CBS and now they are just another outlet for the media to tell me what I should think. Vote against Obama and vote against the media machine!

Another commenter took issue with my implicitly taking a political position:

Michael, not your strongest post... saturated as we are with partisan politics in virtually every other media output, I had hoped that I could avoid political commentary here on your IT Failures blog.

These comments raise two questions:

  1. Does this blog have editorial independence? Let me be crystal clear: no one from ZDNet has ever (meaning never, not even once) interfered with either this blog's content or its editorial perspective. ZDNet management simply doesn't tell bloggers what to write. It's even more far-fetched to think CBS (parent company of ZDNet and CNET) influences blogging content.
  2. Was this blog wrong to take a political position? The answer: probably yes. While I think the flowchart shows a particularly unique and interesting sarcastic view, a few insightful talkback comments have convinced me it's probably best to remain in politically neutral IT failures territory. So, don't look for more directly political posts anytime soon.

Thanks for all the comments. As you see, I respond to feedback, so please stay in touch via talkbacks, email, or Twitter.

[Political head-to-head image via By the Fault.]

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