Editing Blogs or Censoring Blogs?

Some general comments about whether or not blogs should be edited:

The blogging community often mistakes the word editing for the word censoring, and gets all atwitter. There is nothing wrong with editing a blog or any other published writing.

    Editing involves making sure that every word and name is correctly spelled; that the writing makes grammatical sense (except where grammar and syntax might be loosened for stylistic reasons); and making sure that no one is unintentionally either libelled or defamed. News media also likewise edit to make sure all facts and quotes are true. There is nothing wrong with editing.

    Censoring is quite a different matter and is wrong, particularly for news media. But we’re not aware of any American media companies censoring its staff’s blogging. We know of some cases (for example) of media companies prohibiting reporters from blogging on their own in what the media companies claim are apparent violation of employment contracts. But that’s not censoring content; it’s breach of contract (i.e., if a reporter wants to blog on his own about the same topics for which he’s entered into a exlusive reporting arrangement for a publication, then he shouldn’t have signed that exclusive reporting arrangement.)

We hope that some of the neurotic minority in the blogging community stop mistaking editing as censoring. Likewise, they too often mistake the characteristics of most blog (has first-person viewpoint, can contain misspellings, isn’t edited by anyone else, etc.) as the definition of blogs. That’s like saying the definition of a mammal is fur and four legs. That’s inaccurate and superficial.

If blogs — no matter if published by one person or a company — are to be considered legitimate media, then there is nothing wrong with blogs being accurate, correctly spelled, and not unintentionally libellous or defamous. An edited blog is as much of a blog as an unedited blog, only better.

2 Replies to “Editing Blogs or Censoring Blogs?”

  1. I am new to the internet and I am surfing here and this is very interesting reading. I did a search in the search engines on “company blog” and I found your web blog.
    I am a Lawyer in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and thus my interest in searching for a company blog on the WWW.
    I just wanted to see how the rest of the world thinks and see what trends and technology are happening in the world. I also was interested in a blog for myself which might possibly lead to a blob for my law firm, you never know, that is if I can understand the technology of operating a blog. The different things discussed on a website found by searching for “company blog” in the search engine is very amusing reading to this Halifax Lawyer.

    Respectfully yours
    B. J. Stephens, LL.B.
    A Halifax Lawyer

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