Was more than a little surprised when I spotted this button on a blog today, so I went to have a look on the website. It promises that bloggers can “earn hundreds or thousands of dollars writing reviews”*, and encouragingly “disclosure that the review is sponsored is mandatory”. On the other hand, I’d be wary of the terms that “reviews must be written according to the terms set by the advertiser” and that “rude or hateful reviews will be declined” – which rather depends on who decides what is “hateful” as opposed to “a fair review of a hateful product”. All in all, the whole thing makes me feel rather old-fashioned and likely to start rambling about “journalistic principles” or somesuch. Humbug.
Anyhow, back in the familiar world of paper publishing where writers are paid with money earned from magazine sales and advertising, my former employer Felix Dennis has told the Times that he killed a man by pushing him off a cliff. Quite a remarkable interview, and I particularly like his choice of retraction: “It’s a load of hogwash – I was drunk”.
* Actually, if one were searching for proof that writing sponsored reviews isn’t journalism, this is probably it.