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Hiltzik: “they trusted me to know where the limits were”

Hugh Hewitt points us to this Online Journalism Review interview of the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik. The piece went up last Monday, prior to Patterico’s outing Hiltzik’s use of pseudonymous users to talk up his LAT blog.

OJR: Does your blog go through an editing process? And, if so, what’s that like?

Hiltzik: No.

OJR: No?

Hiltzik: No, none at all.

OJR: Did you have to negotiate that?

Hiltzik: No. Frankly there was no mechanism, even at the time. I mean, there was nobody in a position to edit. And I think essentially, they trusted me to know where the limits were. And to know that the limits were going be a little bit different from what they are in the column.

Hiltzik was given a long rope. He also recounts how he worked with the business and online editors to figure out how to deal with a “goddam” in a quote. Frightened by the lack of a policy, the online editor wasn’t willing to run the word in the blog after it had been excised from the print column. Hiltzik says he told them

“I just did you big favor. Because I didn’t have to ask. I could have just done it. And no one would have known. … And what’s going to happen, I’m sure, or I suspect, is that one day, as more people blog, somebody’s going to cross that line. And then they’re going to have to make a policy in response.”

… And it’ll be called the “No Hiltzik Sock Puppets” policy.

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