LA Times Article on Mom Bloggers = Not Original
A few weeks after I returned from the “controversial” Nestle Healthy, Happy Family Event, I was contacted by Stacy Katz of Katz Media Consulting about a potential interview by the LA Times on “Twitter terrorism”. After speaking on the phone with Ms. Katz, she expressed that a reporter, P.J. Huffstutter, from the LA Times was writing a piece on Twitter bullying, and she wanted to speak to me about the backlash I experienced on Twitter regarding the Nestle event. Although the term “Twitter terrorism” was a bit dramatic in my opinion, I did believe a piece on adult Twitter bullying was a newsworthy article, and wanted to be a part of it.
The conference call between Ms. Katz, Ms. Huffstutter, and myself occurred on Monday, October 25th. At the beginning of the call, Ms. Huffstutter expressed that the article had transformed into a piece regarding food corporation sponsored events involving mom bloggers. Uh, okay? Throughout the interview, I was asked very little about my “Twitter terrorism” experience with Nestle, but instead about which hotel I stayed, swag I received, and where I ate for dinner. It was obvious where this interview was headed, but I still answered each question honestly in hopes that my side would be expressed in the article.
Obviously, none of my quotes were included. I honestly wasn’t disappointed that I wasn’t a part of the story, but that the entire focus of the article was regarding FREE STUFF that these events may provide. Seriously, this issue, again??? I expressed in my interview that there is so much more to these events than freebies, but none of this was expressed in the article. I think the media does not realize that WE ARE WORKING AT THESE EVENTS. Yes, we are. Between the sponsored hot lunch and free bag of candy, we are collaborating, having important discussions and engaging in feedback sessions. We are learning. We are getting to know the brands that we, our families, and readers purchase from and consume. Our online and offline mom community trust our recommendations and experiences with brands, so these events provide ways for us to truly LEARN and take back our knowledge, both good and bad, to our audience. We rearrange our family’s schedule and work schedule to make it possible to even attend events like Nestle, and THEY ARE NOT AS GLAMOROUS AS PORTRAYED BY THE MEDIA. There is so much more depth worked into gatherings like the Nestle Happy, Healthy Family event that isn’t being written about. It doesn’t make for controversial story, I guess? I challenge a national article to take this side, just for once. By the way, Nestle asked NOTHING IN RETURN for bringing us out to the event, just in case anyone was wondering.
Honestly, this issue is so beyond old and played out that I’m surprised the LA Times even picked it up. Saying that, the article could have included the behind the scenes of what mom bloggers are actually doing at these events, other than filling their purses full of chocolate bars. (/sarcasm) Seriously though, why aren’t we reading the agendas of corporate sponsored events, or the topics that were discussed or debated? Also, why are we just singling out the mom blogging community? When I worked for the state department, I was sent to all types of training seminars and conferences which provided attendees with free meals and travel. Why or how is this any different? Again, why just mom bloggers? Are journalists starting to feel threatened by our voices? Honestly, the original piece on adult Twitter bullying was a solid, valid story that could have been an eye-opening piece. This whole experience makes me question if “Twitter terrorism” was ever the intended topic of discussion, but instead used as a way to get me in.
Let me make myself very clear. I am, in NO way, enamored by freebies I receive at events or conferences. I can purchase these items myself, and the majority of swag or samples I receive are donated to friends, family or readers who are not able to participate in such functions. For example, the swag at the BlogHer event was so over the top, almost comical, that I donated 90% of what I received. I could not care less if I receive one crumb of a chocolate bar, and at the same time, I do not judge a company who offers it. My intentions and goals of meeting with brands, companies and other bloggers is to connect, learn, and take back to my family and readers. Is that really so outrageous?
As I have said, time and time again, there are bad apples in the mom blogging community as there are in every community, so PLEASE DO NOT LUMP ME WITHIN A CATEGORY. I’m sure there are “swag whores” and freebie lovers out there, but I can guarantee you that the majority of us are not. The stereotyping HAS TO STOP. Also, why are blogging moms made out to be so stupid? It’s as if we are so distracted by shiny things that we throw our ethics and character out the window. Maybe some are, but not me, so again, don’t lump me in that category.
Just for the record-
- There were two dad bloggers at the Nestle event.
- There was a cancellation by a blogger invited to the Nestle event.
I foresee a follow-up post on this, so look for more in the next week or so. Love to hear your thoughts.