1Malaysia Bloggers Code of Ethics
One sweet afternoon about 1 month ago, I had a nice lunch in a restaurant with my wife. While waiting for the food to arrive, I grabbed an interesting looking Times magazine which was displayed in one corner of a large wooden cabinet. The issues posted on the cover of that Times magazine triggered me. I’ve forgotten the actual title but the message was “Bloggers against government of China“. It was a Times issue that was published in 2006. The government of China has felt the heat and challenge from the growing numbers of bloggers in that nation. The freedom to speak and to voice out opinion via blogging suddenly became something that the government cannot ignore. I did not read the entire article because my lunch meal had arrived. However, the message that I learned was, the growing number of bloggers worried the government of China. The bloggers which can be anybody became more and more brave to voice out almost anything. Remember, that happen in 2006 and it had already open their leaders eye, and made the Times magazine featuring a special issue on that matter.
Is blogger a threat to society? community?
So, what is it now or what does that have to do with us here in Malaysia? I strongly believe almost 95% or more of the visitors to this blog is a blogger, no matter what platform you blog with, either from a self hosted blog, a free wordpress.com or blogspot.com blog, a facebook blog which is gaining popularity now, micro-blogging twitter or so on. Each and everyday, the numbers of blog registered and active increases. Our government, with the new slogan, 1Malaysia, realizes the impact driven by the emergence of web 2.0 and how it can influences the overall citizen of Malaysia. It is the sensitive provoking issues which possibly lead to the instability of the country and also lack of integrity in delivering information and news which is of high concern to the government. The bloggers, which now acts like a virtual independent media plays an important role in our political and civic future and that it is important for the truth to be told through responsible reporting.
Published on an internet news site, these guidelines are based on the US-based Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics for bloggers. A small selection follows.
• Be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information
• Never plagiarise
• Identify and link to sources whenever feasible
• Never publish information they know is inaccurate – and if publishing questionable information, make it clear it’s in doubt
• Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information
• Admit mistakes and correct them promptly
• Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity
• Explain each blog’s mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers’ conduct
• Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas
• Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others
I find such standards critical to developing a respectful and productive dialogue, and will endeavour to adhere to them as best as I can. What are your thoughts on this code? Are there any best practices that you can think of that have not been included?
Adopted and referred from 1Malaysia.com.my.
For further reading on Bloggers Code of Ethics, check out Cyberjournalist.net.
Zamrin also touches a little on code of ethic for bloggers.