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Parenting Magazines, Parenting Blogs, and Parenting Websites: Do Parents Have Different Expectations When it Comes to Factual Accuracy?

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Here's something I've been thinking about a lot lately -- ever since I came across some rather odd "reader parenting tips" in a major parenting magazine recently. I'm wondering if most parents have different expectations of the content they encounter in parenting magazines than they do of the material they encounter on parenting websites or in parenting blogs.

Do you expect material in parenting magazines to have gone through a more rigorous fact-checking process, by virtue of the fact that it's "in print", than the information you encounter on parenting websites and/or in parenting blogs?

What if the material that is being presented is a batch of "parenting tips" from readers?

If a parenting magazine publishes parenting tips that are sent in by its readers, does that parenting magazine have an obligation to filter out tips that contain incorrect, dated, or dangerous recommendations?

If so, what should the parenting magazine use as its yardsticks in assessing the validity of those parenting tips?

If you were reading the magazine in question, would you assume that the magazine was endorsing the incorrected, dated, or dangerous information that it published, even if that information was presented as "reader parenting tips"?

I am really fascinated by this issue and I really look forward to hearing what any/all have to say about parents' expectations of the various types of media they turn to. If anyone wants to extend the conversation into other media -- radio, TV, podcasts, etc., go for it. I think that would be fascinating, too.

| posted by Ann D @ 6:37 PM