Blogging ethics

Seth Godin asks what happens to ethics when bloggers become journalists. I argue that transparency holds the key and suggest Seth might add comments to his blog!
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Seth Godin discusses how blogging shades into journalism and asks

Now everyone with a blog is a journalist. When you run a post accusing a politician of having no personality for example, you’re indulging the public’s desire to elect a dinner partner, not a president. When you chime in on the day’s talking points, you’re a tool, not a new voice.

So, we come to the moment of truth. Now that anyone who wants to be a journalist CAN be a journalist, are the ethics going to get better… or worse?

It’s an interesting question, and I think we need to see how old-stryle journalism and new-style blogging differ. In the era of conventional journalism, only a minority could practise the art. So the importance of them being accurate and fair was high. When there are millions of journalists, all interconnected by trackbacks and comments, then what they say can be tested and challenged immediately.

So there is perhaps more potential for a more communal form of ethics. For that, transparency (anyone can read and comment on your stuff) becomes the key. What’s good about this is that it is not dependent on identifying absolute truth and trying to legislate for fairness, always a struggle for mainstream media. The focus instead is on the openness of the debate.

On which note, it would be very nice if Seth added comments to his blog. 🙂

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