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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blog them, and their law

Drew B sent me a link to Tom Foremsky’s post on the first rule of social broadcasting.

I almost agree with the idea, but feel that it’s going to be hard to enforce. Particularly in a community that prides itself on a lack of regulation.

There certainly should be a set of guidelines for bloggers and cloggers to stick to in order to hold the whole thing together – much like the NUJ Code of Conduct but for untrained, gung-ho bloggers.

Let’s start one. Here goes:

1. In social situations, everything is off the record unless otherwise agreed. (Foremsky)

Oh, and when you’ve got rules, you need an enforcing body. (OK, I’ll do that bit. Perhaps brandishing razor-sharp wit and unavoidable shame as my weapons in the war against unethical blogging. OK, perhaps not.)

It amuses me that bloggers - who have started to call themselves journalists - are slowly starting to realise, on their own, that they have to stick to simple journalistic ethics. Foremsky’s thoughts clearly echo the ‘off the record’ concept that’s been crucial to us real journalists for decades.

But where does that leave the corporate bloggers? Well, they’re just PR people, so it doesn’t matter. PR people have been living without ethics for years. (Sorry, Drew).


Anonymous Elizabeth Albrycht said...

I'd think Tom Foremski's years at the Financial Times would qualify him as a "real journalist".

10:56 am  
Blogger Jon said...

Exactly, I agree. Which is why he has been one of the minority of bloggers who have been smart enough to attempt to lay down some rules in an otherwise lawless community.

11:57 am  

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