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.
- 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?