I recently received a comment criticizing my acceptance of free stuff from local businesses. It was written in a troll-like manner (which I’ve said, in my previous post about my blog commenting policy, I wouldn’t post) but I wanted to address the idea of accepting free things in a post.
Whenever I’ve accepted something for free, I’ve said so, and I’ve noted my reservations about it in the post. But, look, unless you’re one of my friends or family members who reads this blog, you don’t know me. I don’t know you. All you have is my word, and the fact that you don’t personally know me. It’s the Internet.
I promise to always say when I accept something free. And honestly, if anything, when accepting something free, I have huge reservations and worry more and am even more careful about writing something up than when I paid.
I have a degree in journalism (and English). Oh, but you can only take me on my word about that too, it’s the Internet and you don’t know me. The point is, I am fully aware of the ethical duties that come with accepting free services when one is a journalist. But, I’m not a journalist nor am I trying to be one. I’m a blogger. I will tell you what I think, I’m not impartial and I’m not trying to be.
My feeling is, as long as I disclose that I accept something free, and you take that for whatever it means, (whether it be that I had more praise for X business because they gave me something free or whether I was even more measured in my praise/criticism because I accepted something free) I think we’re fine. And if you don’t agree, I think that’s fine too. It’s my blog, and this is how I feel about accepting free stuff.