- Be Honest and Fair
- Minimize Harm
- Be Accountable
Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.This point is important - you always see these pay-per-post ads - people who offer to pay you for product placement, in essence. Of course, people tend to justify them by saying "I was going to give a positive review anyway, so why not get paid for it". There's nothing wrong with it - so long as you let your readers know that you were paid for the review. If you don't let them know, you are violating the trust between reader and blogger.
The second set of principles deal with the idea of minimising harm. Generally bloggers should show compassion when dealing with people and be tasteful in their coverage of issues. While these are basic ethical standards, not everyone adheres to them. Finally, the Cyber Journalist ethics call on bloggers to be accountable. These are, to me, the most interesting.
- 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.