Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Code of Blogging Ethics Debated at AEJMC Convention

In August I had the good fortune to attend the 2005 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in San Antonio, Texas. I delivered a paper proposing the code of blogging ethics to the Media Ethics Division. As expected, many in the room questioned how any such code could be enforced or could apply to such a diverse blogosphere. I had to admit that both issues are complex and that I could offer no definitive response. The discussion was lively and I was honored when the division awarded my paper their 2005 Professional Relevance Award.

I would now like to invite comments beyond simple acceptance or rejection of specific provisions of the code. I hope the code will continue to develop as it is discussed and debated. Let's kick around some of the topics brought up in San Antonio. Is it possible for a code of blogging ethics, based on form rather than function, to be adopted by a significant number of bloggers? Should "enforcement" even be part of the discussion? I think of an ethical code as not only a philosophically-based, moral code but also as an ideal mode of behavior that we must strive to achieve. For me, the notion of compelled ethics, even if compelled by only the threat of social stigma, doesn't work.