Many smart people will contemplate what this means for journalism, blogging, transparency, and corporate advertising. In this case, I think it's pretty obvious that Congdon is oblivious to why this is (depending on your approach) unethical, wrong, or benign (I discount the fanboys commentary, "You get paid, girl!" as being way too biased). Check her blog for explanation and comments. Snippets
Isn’t that what new media is all about? Breaking the rules? Setting our own? I see nothing wrong with doing commercials, which is what they, quite transparently, are. If DuPont had tried to pass them off as authentic, homegrown videos, yeah, then that would’ve been wrong (and, of course, I would never have agreed to the project if that was the plan). As Sarah Silverman would say, “I’d do it again”. In a heartbeat. Bring on the endorsements!
and, later, in the comments section.
Don’t try to squeeze me into your antiquated paradigms.
ABC, as our editorial posits, is the really the culprit here - chasing new media cred while ignoring bedrock principles. Congdon, probably humanity, has the ability to do whatever they want - report on a backyard dust-up for free, then act as an extra in a Mentos commercial for money. But ABC is lame for holding up its standards in one hand, then holding a tenuous definition of "unique contributor" and "independent contractor" for Congdon in the other hand.
Maybe Congdon is right - maybe she shouldn't be held to antiquated paradigms; though maybe she shouldn't be so gleeful in ridiculing fans who point out the ethical questions. And it's worth stating that she often time comments about green issues; she might have done her credibility a disservice there. But she can blithely swat away what minority of the population bothers to comment on blogs.
But ABC still has its paradigms. Trying to explain that away would essentially be saying that you shouldn't what the nightly news - because it's antiquated.