AP On Bloggers

The AP chimes in. It isn't actually that bad:

NEW YORK - When Jerome Armstrong began consulting for Howard Dean's presidential campaign, he thought the ethical thing to do was to suspend the Web journal where he opined on politics.

But to suggest others do the same with their journals, otherwise known as blogs? No way.

"If I'm getting paid by a client, I don't blog about it. That's my personal set of standards," Armstrong said. "I'm not going to hold anybody else to my personal standards. I'm not going to make that universal."

The growing influence of blogs such as his is raising questions about whether they are becoming a new form of journalism and in need of more formal ethical guidelines or codes of conduct.(...)

Dan Gillmor, a former newspaper columnist now studying citizen-driven journalism through blogging, said bloggers who want an audience will voluntarily adopt principles of fairness, thoroughness, accuracy and transparency.

"No one's bound by these rules," Gillmor said, "but I think some norms will emerge for people who want to be taken seriously."

Personally, I think we will be taken seriously only if we continue to do things like this, but that is just me. Read the whole piece.

Tags: Blogosphere (all tags)



I prefer Chris's writer's block to more blog-ethics blogging.  I can't stand to read another link with Smiley Zephyr Teachout bubblingly giving us her latest ever-changing opinion on blog-ethics-standards.
by NCDem 2005-01-21 12:25PM | 0 recs
it is that bad.
by NCDem 2005-01-21 12:26PM | 0 recs
The Worst thing About Bloggers
All this stuff about blogging becoming the new journalism strikes me very funny. Blogging has several parallels to mainstream journalism, and by far the worst of those parallels is how completely self-obsessed you all are. I don't know if i want the old-school, loathesomely self-aggrandizing, narcissistic, useless Big Media replaced by a highly democratized ,totally unprofessional, utterly biased and completely untrained journalism that cant shut up about how great it is.

This is just me, of course. And I read all the lefty blogs religiously. I find them exceedingly useful as pointers to information I should know about, and I enjoy the discussions. But man, the tedious bloviating is a downer. And I know, I know "I should just stop reading if I'm bothered by the content." Unfortunately, since blogs ARE the wave of the future, ignoring the problems with the format is equivalent to consenting to have  journalism radically altered without being necessarily improved upon. So... well... there was my two cents.

by zoweee 2005-01-21 12:39PM | 0 recs
What's good for the goose?
"Dan Gillmor, a former newspaper columnist now studying citizen-driven journalism through blogging, said bloggers who want an audience will voluntarily adopt principles of fairness, thoroughness, accuracy and transparency."

I am not saying I do not agree with the comment, but how come the same rules do not apply to FOX News?

by SGlennW 2005-01-21 01:36PM | 0 recs
Standard of Ethics without Sanctions is BS
Professions which are licensed by the state, such as medicine and law, have ethical standards that are enforceable. Professions not so licensed, journalism for example, may have ethical standards, but they are not enforceable.

Since blogging is by definition such a profession, the idea of ethical standards is ludicrious. The marketplace will sort out bad blogging from good blogging and life will go on. This is just another attempt by the right to divert the attention of the media from the Bushies putting out propaganda at taxpayer expense. Sadly members of the media are falling for the diversion.

by mrgavel 2005-01-21 03:00PM | 0 recs
words in my mouth
"... he thought the ethical thing to do..."  Really, I don't think that was the reason I quit blogging, as much as I was just plain burnt out on it at the time.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-01-21 06:12PM | 0 recs
Why oh why
do journalists feel so threatened by blogs? Haven't they noticed how much blogging depends on journalism? Let's face it: most political blogs consist of links to some news stories and some commentary on them. Most bloggers don't do much original reporting. Most bloggers don't have the time or resources to report anyway. What we do is put the news in context and keep journalists honest. I'm sure they resent that, but blogging doesn't threaten their jobs. It's a symbiotic relationship. Journalism won't go away, blogging won't replace it, but hopefully we can help reform it.

This movement to shove an ethics code like that or journalism down bloggers' throats betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of blogging. Journalism is a profession, practiced by a professional class, like lawyers, doctors or engineers. Blogging can be done by anyone, and it's at its core a way for people to express their views. Sometimes that requires giving opinion, expert or not; sometimes it requires original reporting or fact-checking the press. That's why this blog ethics movement will fail: to try to impose a uniform code on the blogosphere is to try to impose a code on freedom of speech itself.

Hmmm...this was a little rambling...that's ok though, it's just a comment.

by vawolf 2005-01-21 09:10PM | 0 recs
f*k ethics
Keep those palms greased.  Fool your readers.
by zinc7 2005-01-22 04:13AM | 0 recs
how come the simple notion
of telling the truth gets your panties in a bunch?

I stopped reading editorials by blog dons because it looks to be paid advertising.

by zinc7 2005-01-22 05:08AM | 0 recs
I agree.
It wasn't a terrible piece.  I cringed when I saw the headline, but was pleasantly surprised.
by Kimmitt 2005-01-22 09:31AM | 0 recs


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