Green Environment Blog Network - a closed blog ring?

By Eco Guy 11:22pm 28th March 2010
It appears that the Guardian and sites like realclimate.org have been engaging in closed content sharing ring..

Keeping it in the family...

I'm all for similar issue sites sharing content and being supportive of each, but when I read this I had to cry foul. The Guardian Environment Network consists of:
  • businessgreen.com
  • carboncommentary.com
  • chinadialogue.com
  • chinagreennews.com
  • climatechangecorp.com
  • Climate Feedback
  • Conservation Magazine
  • The Ecologist
  • EcoWordly
  • environmental research web
  • Green Futures
  • Grist
  • Inter Press Service
  • Our World 2.0
  • Panos
  • RealClimate
  • SciDev.net
  • SolveClimate
  • WorldChanging
  • Yale Environment 360
  • Cool Earth
  • SandBag
Now this is great, but the problem is it is rather biased towards creating what I'd term a 'Green Halo' news feed, in other words if one was to take this content as presented as being representative of the state of play it would totally miss all the 'alternative' views on several of the core green issues, and perhaps make you think the world is more green than it actually is being.

For instance is one is taking in RealClmate.org, then for balance one should also include coverage from climateaudit.org (this is not a 'minor' fringe site, it won the 2007 weblog award for best science blog!). But this relationship goes deeper than just 'linking through' or referencing to other sites, see the comment below by the editor of the Guardian environmental web site on realclimate.org:

'I should say first that we hold RealClimate in very high regard. The site is part of the Guardian Environment Network, a collection of more than 20 hand-picked websites including Grist and Nature’s Climate Feedback blog with whom we have a mutual content sharing agreement. Under the arrangement, the Guardian website republishes RealClimate blogs regularly. '

Hold on, that sounds like a straight republishing arrangement without editorial control, or is it me? That may be a bit harsh, but remember, by republishing whole without editing it is an act of sponsorship of the given point of view by the Guardian.

Grist is also known for pushing the green agenda without balance (you will soon find this out if you try to comment on anything giving a contrary view point, you get trolled to death).

Also what got me is that they also run a 'Green Ad Network' for which they decide who gets coverage...  Hmm, I think I'll stick with Google and keep my independence..

This is one of the reasons why on our blog coverage, we include a balanced selection of blog feeds and keep them apart on the page - we leave it you to decide what you would like to read and do not set an agenda.

In conclusion, I think the Guardian is treading on the wrong side of the 'balanced coverage' line and they need to include some additional blogs to balance up the coverage and provide people with more room to just think about things at the end of the day. Although given the Guardian's political leaning, this might just be too much for them; as they would need to see beyond the politics...

Related Content Tags: green, blogs

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