10 Disember, 2009

The Blogger's Code


I have always said that new media plays an important role in our political and civic future and that it is important for the truth to be told through responsible reporting.  I was therefore interested to come across a new Bloggers’ Code of Ethics that publishers may adopt.

Published on an internet news site, these guidelines are based on the US-based Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics for bloggers.  A small selection follows.

Bloggers should:

  • Be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information
  • Never plagiarise
  • Identify and link to sources whenever feasible
  • Never publish information they know is inaccurate – and if publishing questionable information, make it clear it’s in doubt
  • Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity
  • Explain each blog’s mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers’ conduct
  • Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas
  • Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others

I find such standards critical to developing a respectful and productive dialogue, and will endeavour to adhere to them as best as I can.  What are your thoughts on this code?  Are there any best practices that you can think of that have not been included?