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Andrew Sullivan’s Best Practices for Bloggers: Honesty, Integrity, Corrections, the F-Word

Andrew Sullivan's Best Practices for Bloggers: Honesty, Integrity, Corrections, the F-Word

Atlantic Monthly political blogger Andrew Sullivan takes on the issue of journalism rules for bloggers in this video. He says you can’t regulate or enforce, but that readers will discover who is honest and who isn’t. He believes that bloggers should not lie, should correct things when they are wrong, should not misrepresent, and will earn their reputation for honesty and integrity as inevitably as did the New York Times. He also embraces his own blogger’s rebellious streak, shared with the creators of South Park: “I can say the word ‘fuck’ and they can’t stop me,” he gloats.

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Anne Thompson

I am amazed at the misleading headlines –the one you cite is egregious–and especially, the rewritten stories that steal reported original scoops without supplying links or credit. Best practice is all about passing on links and credit where it is due. Sharing the love, if you will. My approach is to share information, deepen it if possible with more reporting, commentary and context, to keep readers informed and up-to-date, as accurately as possible. I try to avoid passing on rumors as questions before there is any reason to believe that they are true. The folks who do the leg work to report and confirm news deserve bragging rights. On the other hand, we all know that many “breaking” news stories are swiftly rewritten press releases. The one that posts first is going to be closest to the press release–not the best reported. Many folks post the quickie first, then enrich it several times during the day.

As for Jeff Sneider, we worked together at; he is as passionate about film and journalism as you are. I’m not going to compare your respective chops. ‘Nuff said.


good example of way overblown headline
Getting Dismissed From Bourne Legacy Left Matt Damon In A State Of Shock


One point Sullivan doesn’t seem to mention (at least not in the first few minutes) — and which seems just as, if not more important considering most people don’t flat out lie* (at least not seemingly in our industry) — is the responsibility of the journalist/blogger/writer to the story when you’re framing something as most blogging is regurgitating and framing a story rather than writing one from scratch.

The responsibility the writer has to the use of language and being particular about that use of language. Are you blowing that comment out of context or proportion? Are you carefully choosing your words? This seems to be a major problem/issue with our blog movie world. Carelessness when it comes to framing a story and letting those loose ends echo and expand into absurdity. Not being careful enough about details.

I bet you a hundred bucks that Jeff is the InSneider who thinks he’s the new bastion of journalism and who learned his trade at AICN of all places.

*there’s a difference between getting facts wrong or reporting erroneous stuff which a lot of the blogosphere does and lying, not sure who flat out makes stuff up, at least not in movies aside from the few review plagiarists.

lili ungar

I found the Andrew Sullivan video so enlightening and fascinating.


Is that Sullivan or Zach Galifianakis?


This, from the guy who spent a year posting that Sarah Palin was the mother of her daughter’s child? He’s repellent, unapologetic, hypocritical, and the left wing equivalent of a birther, or a 9/11 truther.

I’m surprised at you, Anne. You should know better. This guy is one of the prime examples of everything that’s wrong with blogging – as opposed to all the good things, which otherwise include your writing.


I’ve tried to run Screen Rant by those rules for a while. It’s difficult to eat crow, but when you’re wrong it’s got to be done.


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