FIR Interview: Robert Cox, President, Media Bloggers Association

When the Associated Press issued a takedown notice to a blogger for citing AP material, a firestorm ensued. In the middle of the controversy was Robert Cox and the Media Bloggers Association. Cox met with AP’s Jim Kennedy in an effort to prevent legal proceedings against blogger Rogers Cadenhead, which led to a flurry of articles and blog posts containing exaggerations and misinformation.

In this FIR Interview, Shel Holtz joined in conversation with Robert Cox, to discuss the AP situation and the Media Bloggers Association’s role, the formation of the Association, and its current status. Cox also shared his views on the future of journalism in the era of citizen journalism.

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About our Conversation Partner

Robert CoxRobert Cox, who first began blogging in 2002, gained notoriety as a blogger in 2004 when the New York Times sought to shut down his blog, The National Debate, over his parody of the Times’ columnist correction policy. In what was one of the earliest ‘free speech’ cases involving a blog, Cox prevailed and applied his experience to what later became the Media Bloggers Association.

Prior to attending business school at the University of Chicago, Cox worked on Wall Street. Since graduating from the Chicago GSB, Cox has provided strategy-consulting services to leading companies in North America, Europe and Asia. Cox spent three years creating and running a venture-financed startup Internet business and continues to consult to technology start-ups and serve on their corporate boards.

Cox has written numerous Op-Eds and articles for publications including Newsweek, The San Francisco Chronicle, Congressional Quarterly, The Washington Examiner, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram where his article “The best test of truth” for the paper’s American Voices series which was nominated for the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award in 2006.

He sits on a number of citizen media advisory boards including, Newstrust, Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation and others. In 2006, he helped develop the Poynter Institute’s Guide to Ethics in Online Journalism and served on the sub-committee for User-Generated Content which issued its final report in 2007.

Cox received his BA from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business. He currently resides in New Rochelle, NY with his wife, an Associate Professor at Columbia University, and their four children.

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.