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benny_nikon1.pngThe roll of pet-owning bloggers who “turned themselves into a news and information collection and dissemination machine” to report on the pet food recall debacle is a clear indicator of why mainstream media (MSM) is losing readers to the Internet in droves. MSM just doesn’t understand what people really care about.
USA Today’s Elizabeth Weise reports on the mobilization of pet owners by a dedicated group of bloggers including Pet Connection who jumped in when mainstream media reports proved sketchy, scattered, wrong, or, in many cases, non-existent.
Blogs written by pet owners assembled information sources that drew millions of readers, and most of the bloggers are unpaid. That’s because most of us, including me, blog because we love to learn and share information — especially when it affects members of our family, like our pets.
56% of U.S. Households Own Pets
Considering that 56% of U.S. households own pets, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it continues to astound me that MSM didn’t think the story important enough to cover.
Weise says bloggers sometimes stated tips as the truth, leaving journalists to track them down and disprove them. She also should have noted that a large percentage of those tips were correct and that the only place to find them often was in blogs because MSM never reported most of the details.
For example, Pet Connection live-blogged and ran transcripts of the FDA press conferences where the recall was discussed. Those reports never made it to mainstream media websites, and of they certainly weren’t in any print outlets.
All in all, it was “crowd sourcing” at its finest, says Paul Grabowicz, director of the New Media Program at the University of California at Berkeley.
“It’s heartening to see that people did it,” he says.
Acetaminophen and Salmonella Found in Pet Foods Not in Previous Recall Lists
Meanwhile, Pet Connection has reports on The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has just issued a warning following the reports of acetaminophen in pet food n brands of cat and dog food not included on the Menu Foods recall list. However, the brands have not been named! Additionally, Wal-mart has just recalled Ol’ Roy dog food in 69 stores in the south because of salmonella poisoning.
This is exactly why I am cooking for Benny Bix, above. (I took that shot with the Nikon D80 that I am testing as part of the Nikon Blogger Outreach program.) Drop me an email if you want to know more about what I feed him. I’ll be glad to share the information I got from my holistic vet.
Posted by B.L. Ochman