Bloggers' Code of Ethics: A Starting Point
As your Guest Blogger this week, I'm tasked with facilitating a discussion on the Blogger's Code of Ethics.
This turns out to be a daunting task, because there are dozens of codes of ethics floating around out there. I searched for “Blogger's Code of Ethics” (exact match) on Google and got 5130 hits.
So, let's start by agreeing on one. Because
- I think this is one of the most comprehensive and readable of those I've seen,
- It's a site that understands SEO well enough to come up first in that search string,
- It's the work of an organization and not an individual,
- And because we need to have a basis for the conversation.
I'm going to arbitrarily suggest that we focus our discussion on the Code of Ethics found at the Online News Association.
For me, one of the key points to consider in a discussion of ethics and blogging is pretty far down their list:
- Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas
In other words, if a blogger stands to gain financially, that relationship should be disclosed. I would like to see that rule applied not only to bloggers, but to mainstream media. I've blogged in the past about some commentators who haven't disclosed their financial relationships.
I bet we can get some good discussion going here. But first, who am I to be telling you this?
- Blogger since 2004 on ethics politics, media, and marketing
- Award-wining author of a relevant book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First (it shows how ethics can led to business success)–and six other books
- Founder of the international Business Ethics Pledge campaign
- Owner for 26 years of a marketing/publishing consulting and copywriting firm that focuses on ethical, affordable, and effective marketing methods
And now — it's your turn.