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Re: Fund raising advertisement on the DPN (Was: [Publicity-commits] r2683 - /dpn/en/current/index.wml)

On Thu, Oct 06, 2011 at 06:24:41PM -0400, David Prévot wrote:
> It's the second time [1] such an advertisement reaches the DPN, and I
> don't find it suitable at all. I think it was a mistake the first time,
> and it would be a shame to consider the first error as a precedent. For
> the same reason we don't do sponsorship link in the official website
> main page, I believe we should not relay such campaign in the official DPN.

I didn't want to chime in this thread, mainly because there are active
editors of DPN and I think they are fully entitle to decide an
"editorial position" on these matters. I still maintain that, but I'd
like to point out to an implication which is present in this thread and
that I find a bit disturbing.

The implication is that *informing* about some money-related initiative
it's the same of *advertising* such initiative.

I maintain that informing and advertising are two different things and,
in terms of communication, we see that difference on many media. A
newspaper might have an advertisement link to some campaign, if they
really want to advertise it, or it might just have an article describing
that someone is doing some fund-raising. Another example comes from
wikipedia, where articles written as advertisement are explicitly
labeled as so and requested to be amended to have a more informative

Unfortunately, the difference among informing and advertising is often
blurry. It is, ultimately, a matter of writing style (another subject on
which an "editorial board" should usually have a stance.)

So, by all means, I encourage the people regularly doing DPN to decide
on these matters, but it would be nice to distinguish two separate
judgements. One on whether entries written as *advertisements* are
welcome or not. And one on whether DPN should refrain from *informing*
about fund-raising activities related to Debian individuals or not.


PS for disclosure:
- I've strongly objected in the past, in agreement with the Press Team,
  on using Debian *press releases* for advertisement of this very same
- I've accepted to be a testimonial of Raphael initiative, but I see
  that as a personal choice that should bear no weight in deciding
  editorial positions of DPN
Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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