How the new government rules on consumer news reporting will affect Theme Park Insider
Written by Robert Niles
If you spend a lot of time in the blogosphere or on Twitter, you might have heard that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced sweeping new rules on what journalists and advertisers must disclose about products and services they report upon or present.Tweet
The new rules are here. [Massive PDF file. Link doesn't work in some browsers.]
Essentially, these new rules will not affect Theme Park Insider, as we've had strict rules for submitting content to the site for many years. But I'd like to remind folks of those rules, and ask that you give them a fresh look, if you haven't for a while.
The outrageous thing about all this, though, is that while many of the new rules apply to people who write online, they do not apply to writers who work in print or on TV. A Theme Park Insider correspondent who covers a press event at a theme park must disclose that he got into the park for free, under the new rules. But a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel who covers the same event does not have to note the free admission.
Similarly, a blogger who gets a CD from a music company for review must disclose getting the free advance copy, but a critic for a magazine does not.
In fact, a music blogger would have to disclose getting a free 99-cent iTunes download for review, but a travel magazine writer would not have to disclose getting $5,000 Disney Cruise for free.
Which is why, I guess, online media is about to become much more credible and honest than print or broadcast reporting. If it isn't that way already. ;-)
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