Endless Travel Writing Ethics Debate Gets Gawkerized*

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.22.09 | 12:12 PM ET

And here I thought only our little corner of the writing community cared about the ongoing press trip debate. Apparently not. Yesterday, Daily Finance outed New York Times contributor Mike Albo as a taker of press trips, describing Albo’s recent Jamaica junket as a “swag orgy.” Now Gawker’s gotten involved, too, pointing out to the Times’ higher-ups that one of their freelancers was in violation of their no-freebies policy. The Times has acknowledged that the paper has “concerns” about the trip.

As for Mike Albo? Here’s his latest tweet: “do you ever feel like you are a guppy who is being eaten by his mother?”

*Update 12:59 p.m. ET: We’re debating the issue on Twitter at #twethics.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

3 Comments for Endless Travel Writing Ethics Debate Gets Gawkerized*

Julie 10.22.09 | 2:14 PM ET

Ok, ethics aside, the guy can write. Anyone who tweets “do you ever feel like you are a guppy who is being eaten by his mother?” is, at least, creative.

Chris 10.22.09 | 3:31 PM ET

Without having read up on the ongoing debate, the whole issue to me boils down to disclosure. There is nothing wrong with a freebie trip (or swag orgy), as long as readers know that you were comp’ed.

KikiCanuck 10.22.09 | 4:28 PM ET

I grant that the tweet is witty, but the comparison between being rebuked for violating the ethics policy of your employer and being devoured by your mother… unless the point is that guppies frequently eat their young, and persumably employers frequently enforce their own policies. I agree that it all hinges on disclosure, which Gawker seems to be really big on in general. This comes up a lot in my line of work - people will bury a free pen if they think it’ll get them in trouble, without realizing that the shadiest part is the concealing.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.