If you’re blogging about a company you work for, or a friend’s store, your readers probably want to know about any potential bias. A brief disclosure statement at the end of your post will do.
Publish a correction when you make an error
We all make mistakes. If you got someone’s name or age wrong, a simple edit of the post will do; but if it’s something bigger and more harmful, you need to consider your options to make things right. You can add a paragraph at the end of your post that notes your mistakes; issue an apology to the wronged party; or even scrap the post entirely. If you admit you’ve made mistake, your readers will respect your integrity.
Attribute information to its source, but respect their privacy if they wish to remain anonymous.
If you plagiarise someone else’s work without giving them credit, don’t assume they won’t find out. Journalists self-regulate – and bloggers do too. If a reader suspects you’ve ripped someone off, it’s entirely likely that they’ll go to the original source and let them know.
If someone comes to you with information – say, about a secret sample sale, or a store’s closure – then the best thing you can do to make this information seem legitimate on your blog is to name that person as a source. However, if they wish to remain anonymous – so they don’t lose their job, for example – you’ve got to respect their decision.
For more on ethical journalism, take a look at The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp) or Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism_ethics_and_standards).
This post is by Amelia Marshal of Further Ado