Bloggers get a bad rap from the press sometimes. When they’re not calling us biased, they say we don’t know how to check our facts. The main problem, it seems, is that bloggers aren’t journalists, and we don’t have to follow their rules and regulations. That’s part of what makes blogging so special. But do these critics have a point?
Journalists build their credibility by relying on a code of ethics. Bloggers aren’t bound by such rules, but they might be able to learn a little from them.
Regular visitors are a blogger’s lifeblood, and if you want visitors to come back to your site, you’ve got to be a trusted source of information. But how do we gain that trust?
Bloggers and journalists are like sisters to a different mister: they set out to communicate with an audience, they report on events and trends, and they ultimately aim to influence their readers in some way. Most bloggers have no plans to become a journalist – maybe you just want to share you creations, or talk about the things you like – but there are definitely lessons we can learn from them.
Tabloid journalists are the least respected and least ethical of all journalists. They make things up, they vilify people, and when they’ve got to choose between the truth or the scandal, it’s the scandal that wins every time.
You probably don’t want to be a tabloid blogger. So, what sort of ethical principles do the best journalists follow? And what can bloggers learn from them?