City of Milwaukee paying for comment on blogs
In a new example of cash for comment, it has been revealed that the City of Milwaukee is paying a Milwaukee blogger, Erin Leffelman, to promote the city and its attractions, all without the need to disclosure the relationship on the site.
The USA Today report states that Leffelman is recieving a year’s worth of high-speed Internet access, $1,700 in computer and camera equipment and free access to the places she is expected to review as part of the deal.
A visit to the site by The Blog Herald failed to find any notice or disclosure from Leffelman of the financial arrangement with the city (although it must be noted that search facilities were not available on site either). Milwaukee spokesman David Fantle told USA Today that the arrangement was “a hands-off relationship, and if Erin has a negative experience, we expect her to record that”, but made no mention of the fact that Leffelman has hidden the relationship from viewers, and hiding such a relationship can only lead to speculation that not only is this a case of cash for comment, but one, although not through legal obligation, leads to favorable reviews based on the need to continue an ongoing financial relationship with city.
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