The University of Michigan Medical School's website is hosting the blogs of 12 students. Called 'Dose of Reality', the site claims to give 'insights, ah-ha moments, frustrations and excitement' relating to studying medicine at UMHS. A couple of things make me suspicious of the exact dosage of reality being doled out here. The first is that a disclaimer on the bottom of the blogs warns 'This page is maintained by UMHS Public Relations & Marketing Communications ... The University of Michigan may monitor this blog about the information you’ll find or delete inappropriate content. Any information provided in this blog is offered “AS IS” with no warranties, and no rights are conferred to you. You assume all risk for your use.' (Hmmm... the risks of reading a student blog...)
Given that the entries are long and often illustrated with photos, I wondered whether said public relations outfit pays these students to blog and/or has given each one a digital camera. Or maybe it counts towards their assessment! I wanted to ask, but there are no comment facilities.
I suppose this is no more engineered than the selective quotation, or student profile, that Universities often do to promote their courses (I'm forever picking out the good bits of feedback to promote the Medical Humanities course at Imperial), but I think corporate moderation really against the whole autonomous nature of blogging.