Monday, June 19, 2006

3. Blogging Code of Ethics (Singapore)

Three undergraduates from School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (SCI/NTU) conducted a survey on Weblog Ethics, which results was released at Weblog Ethics Survey Results in July 2005.

From the literature on Internet ethics, blogging ethical codes, and journalism ethics, four underlying ethical principles that are relevant to blogging were identified.

They are truth telling, accountability, minimizing harm, and attribution.

Truth telling includes underlying concepts such as honesty, fairness, equality and completeness in reporting.

Accountability involves being answerable to the public, honesty in one's work, revealing conflicts of interest, and bearing consequences of one's actions.

The third principle is minimizing harm (done to others) by blogging. It includes issues of privacy, confidentiality, flaming, consideration of other people’ s feelings, and respecting diverse cultures and underprivileged groups.

Attribution involves issues such as plagiarism, honouring intellectual property rights, and giving proper credit to sources.

These four principles form the structural framework in the design of the survey questions (see Source) relating to bloggers’ ethical beliefs and practices.

Another website, What are the Ethics of Online Journalism? also offers an extensive review on the principles of online journalism (blogs). It is more elaborated, and adds on to the above posting.

Here is roughly what the website has:
- No plagiarism (Always link the reference website, whether you have taken pictures, audio, videos, or large text excerpts.)
- Disclose (Disclose the purpose of your blog, who do you work for etc. If you are making money for your company, let your readers know, and disclose all relevant information about your company that may be important to your customers.)
- No bribery (Refuse giving and accepting gifts or money to avoid conflicts of interest amongst journalists.)
- Check your source of information and speak the truth (Search for facts, not others' opinions or comments. Double check the source of information to make sure it is true.)
- Be honest (Be transparent about your work and be honest with your readers. Never lie because you will lose credibility with your readers. Answer what you readers ask.)

Do read up to find out more!

Weblog Ethics Survey Results

What are the Ethics of Online Journalism?


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