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May 10, 2005

A Blogging Code of Ethics?

Michelle Malkin mentions Adam Cohen's OpEd, complaining about Bloggers. Michelle is, rightly so, peeved at Adam's hypocrisy. Ace of Spades joins her as do quite a few others. The idiotic ramblings from another Main Stream Moron, aside, there is a valid question about the need for blogging guidelines.

Ken Mullinax asked me about this a few weeks ago. He's the nephew of Mae Magouirk. A blogger called his mother's hospital room trying to get information. Ken's mother was recovering from the same heart problem his aunt is, and it upset Ken that a blogger would pester his mother.

While some bloggers have a background in the media, and other can pretty much figure out a general rule of blogging etiquette, there are many others that are more or less clueless about why there are certain rules regarding how one goes about researching and reporting a story. (The same ignorance is abundant in the media, but they will never admit it)

CyberJournalist has offered an example. But an example remains just that.

At the same time, I get the feeling Cohen is implying that there needs to be some code enforced on bloggers. No such code is enforced on the media, except through other members of the media and their readers/viewers. And even then they manage to squirm out of it quite often.

Cohen says:

Many bloggers make little effort to check their information, and think nothing of posting a personal attack without calling the target first - or calling the target at all.

But then earlier in the piece said:

The Drudge Report, of course, is famous for pushing stories, often with a rightward spin, onto the national media agenda, but it is not alone. Daily Kos did a brilliant job last fall of pressuring Sinclair Broadcasting not to show a hatchet-job documentary about John Kerry. And Joshua Micah Marshall has been rattling Congress with his entertaining and influential listing of where individual members stand on Social Security privatization.

He accuses Drudge of a rightward spin, but fails to mention that Daily Kos is unabashedly Liberal, and Josh Marshall tilts leftward, too. Who's Cohen answerable to — the New York Times.

These standard Cohen claims the MSM are held too (which they ignore more often than not) remain of their own creation and self-imposed. So far I've seen bloggers also held to standards within the blogosphere. We do police ourselves.

Eventually a more concrete set of guidelines will emerge, and bloggers will exceed the MSM in overall reliability (if they don't already).

Coverage: Pejman Yousefzadeh, Barbara O'Brien, Roger Ailes, Mindles H. Dreck, Ann Althouse, Ed Cone, James Wolcott, Cori Dauber, Lambert @Corrente, Ezra Klein, Attaturk, Jeff Jarvis, Dr. Steven Taylor, Patterico, Little Green Footballs

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 10, 2005 11:14 AM

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