Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yet Another Attack on the JBloggers Conference

This one much more of an ethical complaint.

Haim Watzman, who walked out when Bibi showed up, or shortly thereafter, wrote:

...I’m all in favor of aliya, and Nefesh B’Nefesh does fine work, even if its close association with Binyamin Netanyahu — the convention’s keynote speaker — and other figures on the Israeli right is not to my taste...

...we know that money corrupts—do we lack instances of scandals in charities?

A blogger who received a free business-class round-trip plane ticket from Nefesh B’Nefesh would inevitably think twice about checking out a rumor of malfeasance in the organization — or even about writing that some of the olim in its care felt they hadn’t been treated properly. Even if there were no such rumors or complaints to be heard, the fact that the bloggers accepted this perk automatically reduces their credibility to zero in writing about the organization and its activities.

Nefesh B’Nefesh — don’t tempt bloggers with plane tickets next time. And bloggers —if they offer you one, politely but firmly turn it down.


There is a principle here but when you have over 200 bloggers present, even with 10 being flown for free, and 1300 on-line, the ethical violation is negligible. Everybody knows what's going down. It's not as if it is a secret. The free travelers all proclaimed it and thereby, they warned everyone. If NBN is corrupt, someone is going to blow the whistle, ticket, conference or not.

Haim, so, you weren't invited. My wife was invited two and three years ago, one-way, though, and I wasn't. That's life.

As long as there's Aliyah, it's okay.

3 comments:

Haim Watzman said...

Yisrael, it's unfair to portray my objection as the result of sour grapes. For the record, a couple years ago (when I was just a journalist, and hadn't yet attained the rank of blogger) a person associated with Nefesh B'Nefesh told me they were offering free flights for writers and offered me one. I turned him down curtly and without a second thought because it was obvious to me that the offer was improper. In fact, I was insulted that he thought that I would accept such a thing.

Jack said...

A blogger who received a free business-class round-trip plane ticket from Nefesh B’Nefesh would inevitably think twice about checking out a rumor of malfeasance in the organization — or even about writing that some of the olim in its care felt they hadn’t been treated properly.

Not true. You can't apply the same journalistic standards to bloggers as would be applied to the MSM.

They are two entirely different entities.

YMedad said...

So, Haim, a journalist who receives a press release or a SMS and reports that as news (and we all know how hard journalists sometimes work to change sentence order) is much better than a blogger who receives a trip, free, let's the whole world know and brags about it? A journalist who secretely makes deals with politicians, businessmen, etc., to exchange info, we know is the standard but this convention is...unworthy ethically?

A little slack here give?