In Big Media ethics rules – which are casually and arbitrarily enforced – have become more than guidelines on how to do the job. They are the heart of the intricate and delicately constructed mechanism by which Big Media's employees justify their power and the limits placed – by management – on their personal lives. Here's the arrangement: Writers, reporters, and some editors – and not all of them by any means, count on that – trade lousy salaries, crummy working conditions, long hours as well as bans on emotional, financial or civic involvement in their non-media community for power. The power to influence public opinion, to decide what's important. To make or break reputations.

On-line writing dilutes that influence. It trumps the power Big Media grants its employees. It questions their authority and it's not polite about it either. In raising its hand – or posting invective-laden HTML code – to ask why a story is written, played, or edited the way it is, on-line writing has fractured the deal Big Media employers and employees have crafted. And they are not happy. So they are raising allegations and slinging mud, worrying themselves to death over potential conflicts and disclosure.

http://www.chrisnolan.com/archives/000659.html

(That link is now broken, but Chris Nolan seems to be a political advertising consultancy : https://spot-on.com/about)

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