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You can start a blog, but be prepared for the online debate

General Motors’ director of news relations recently wrote a blog post accusing the Wall Street Journal of pursuing an agenda while reporting on the automaker’s potential decision to declare bankruptcy. Taking such drastic action would be a milestone in GM’s development, and perhaps one of the last. GM’s Tom Wilkinson, in a blog post titled, “Never Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story,” says the Journal is distorting the facts to create a more compelling story surrounding GM’s financial struggles.

In his well-designed post, Wilkinson provides what he says is an accurate quote from GM CEO Tom Waggoner, and then accuses the Journal of bending the statement to support its story.

“Did The Wall Street Journal ignore what Wagoner really said so it could write the headline and story it wanted?

I’ll leave it to you to decide,” he says.

It’s a reasonable, if somewhat angry post about a newspaper’s coverage. However, the resulting commentary is both supportive and critical of Wilkinson and GM.

“I’m a GM employee and I want to commend Tom for writing this post. Too often we see media coverage that’s taken a turn from the truth. I appreciate the explanation and the information. Thank you.” says Jordana.

“Basically Tom, GM needed to move faster. Ford is five years ahead of GM in terms of dealer/factory streamlining, brand streamlining, asset sales, and capital raising to fund their operations and they did all of that without any taxpayer money because they were smart enough to know their business needed help. GM on the other hand waited until there was no other option than a massive asset sale/reorganization that could cause bankruptcy or a significantly smaller company in the future,” said Alex D.

Props to GM for allowing both positive and negative comments to be posted. A blog can help corporations get their information out, but to have credibility, those blogs have to post the positive and the negative. That’s part of public discourse, even on your own blog.

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