Bloggers’ Code of Ethics
This code of ethics was published by CyberJournalist.com and is reproduced here for the purpose of discussion and amendment in order to produce a relevant Code of Ethics document for Bahraini webloggers.
A BLOGGERS’ CODE OF ETHICS
Be Honest and Fair
Bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
- Never plagiarize.
- Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
- Make certain that Weblog entries, quotations, headlines, photos and all other content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
- Never distort the content of photos without disclosing what has been changed. Image enhancement is only acceptable for for technical clarity. Label montages and photo illustrations.
- 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. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.
- Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
Ethical bloggers treat sources and subjects as human beings deserving of respect.
- Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
- Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
- Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.
- Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
- Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
- Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects, victims of sex crimes and criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
- Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
- Explain each Weblog’s mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers’ conduct.
- Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas.
- Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence content. When exceptions are made, disclose them fully to readers.
- Be wary of sources offering information for favors. When accepting such information, disclose the favors.
- Expose unethical practices of other bloggers.
- Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.