Earn Your Own Trust, Roll Your Own Ethics, Transparency and Beyond

By Bill Mitchell and Bob Steele

SUMMARY: This paper explores the ethical implications of blogging. Our central premise: the act of publishing almost always holds consequences for stakeholders beyond the writer. Our major question: what are the writer’s obligations to those stakeholders? Our main conclusions: Transparency is a first step in building trust with an audience but is insufficient to achieve credibility.  We do not prescribe ethics standards for bloggers. Instead, we recommend that bloggers involve their audience in a co-authored process that addresses the personal information the bloggers are willing to share, the principles they stand for, and the processes they follow. 

The paper was prepared for a January 21-22, 2005 conference on Journalism, Blogging and Credibility at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.

Full paper is attached as a Word document: Roll Your Own Ethics: Journalism & BloggingRoll Your Own Ethics: Journalism & Blogging

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