A Living, Breathing Code of Ethics for Bloggers Everwhere...

by John Hiler

1. Amateur Journalists are inherently biased.  What's crucial is not pure objectivity, but full disclosure.  It is the responsibility of an Amateur Journalist to fully disclose his or her agenda and background somewhere on their site.  If a particular aspect of their background is especially relevant to a particular subject, that bias should be highlighted in any article on that subject.

2. Caveats are critical online.  Accuracy is still important, but sometimes it's ok to print information that you haven't confirmed with multiple sources.  Just make sure that you label it as such.  Never ever publish information that you know not to be true.  And if there's any doubt as to the accuracy of the information, caveat it clearly so that it's clear.

3. Blogging doesn't magically make you immune from Libel and Slander.  If your article isn't clearly marked as opinion, you should give the subject of your piece a chance to respond in print.  This means dropping them an email or picking up the phone.