Ashton Kutcher’shonesty video” had a compelling point that reminds me of a debate between Rich Donley and I.

The line goes:

“There is no gatekeeper. We are our own editors. We are our own publishers. We are our own printers.  And thereby people can bastardize the truth in any way, shape or form that they want.”

The related debate between Rich and I falls on our preferred catch phrases.

As an analytic, I say, “Perception is reality.” As a PR professional, Rich says, “Reality is reality.”

I see where Rich is coming from. There are two sides to every story. Responsible journalism (and research) advocates for an unbiased picture of the truth, and its genuine practice demands that no one person’s voice be louder than another’s.

As citizen journalists become ever more present, will that balance be challenged or will citizen journalism reinforce the balance of the truth? I tend to side with Rich on this one, as much as it pains me. The reality is that while you cannot control what someone publishes online, it is still a viable medium where everyone has an opportunity to offer counterpoint and opinion, whether to the contrary or in support of what another ‘journalist’ says. If Ashton doesn’t want the truth to be bastardized, he can respond, right? (later in the video, he reminds us that it’s our responsibility to tell the truth.) Isn’t that what the evolving and participatory media is all about? Doesn’t that make reality…reality? Or is it still perception?

Who do you side with? And, just as important, what is Ashton Kutcher doing schooling us on ethics?

— Jennifer Becker is the research director at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.