The Internet is a wonderful vehicle, if you look back at it’s history, you will find that even up until 1999 there were something like 2 million users. 2 million sounds like a big number, it is nothing! The latest stats have Internet users beating Moores Law! Stuff doubles every 18 months. We are now close to a billion devices connected.

I talk with many people, would be reporters, musicians, authors, folks with Emmy’s, and even folks that I think it is better not to mention! The bottom line is that when you do a live show you really need to understand the subject under the microscope. Getting caught off guard is a ‘gotcha’.

I listened to the best ‘gotcha’ I have heard in a while last Saturday.

There have been a small but determined group that have decided to ‘bury’ Blogger News. Our response has been to ignore them. But there comes a time where we have to respond.

I will not even give the radio link, but the subject came up about what a ‘730’ evaluation was.

The radio host (who incidentally does not even live in the US), posed the question to his esteemed guest, a man who does understand child psychology and abuse. The guest ducked the question, citing that Florida had no such law, at least not known under the name of ”730″.

The host than went on to tell us that a ‘730’ has nothing to do with US law, it is in fact something that Connie Bedwell has invented. 730 actually comes from the UK, so it should have no bearing. Ergo it have no relevance. well ‘Bud’…

730 Evaluation – An evaluation conducted in child custody disputes pursuant to California Evidence Code §730, in which a child custody evaluator will perform a thorough investigation of the family dynamics and make a recommendation to the judge as to what the evaluator believes is the best interest of the child. The evaluation takes a few weeks. The parents, children and other pertinent persons must undergo various interview, evaluation, and testing procedures necessary for the evaluator to make an appropriate recommendation regarding custody.

Make sure you understand the words that come out of you mouth before the lips flap.

Of course, riling up a blogger is like falling out of bed. Have they investigated the story? No. Does their ‘special guest’ know anything about the case? The answer was a resounding NO. If you don’t even know the ‘730’ law, what credibility do you have?

I would suggest that you do your homework before you speak. I will not say anything against the guest on the show, but I am pretty certain he was ticked off. Rule number one, never ask a question that you do not know the answer to. It is just like being in a court room.

The guest was a well known child psychologist, specializing in child abuse cases. On one hand it was fun to listen to the ‘Thrust and Parry’, but another part of me groans.

Just so that here are no more misunderstandings, a 730 is indeed a California statute covering family law. It may be part of British law as well, however, it has nothing to do with this case. Bloggers and Citizen Journalists  have the same responsibility  as the mainstream reporters. Make sure you know about your facts, and can back them up, before you open your mouth!

Simon Barrett

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