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January 22, 2005

Rebecca Blood on Weblog ethics

Topics: Administrative

This administrative post is to publicly announce that Hyscience is committed to disclosing any conflicts of interest, publicly correcting any misinformation and linking to any source materials referenced in postings. Furthermore, Hyscience subscribes to "Rebecca Blood's"Standards for weblog ethics," and encourages all blogs that link to or that are linked by Hyscience, to also participate in the practice of these standards.

In response to CyberJournalist.net's discussion of Weblog ethics, "The Weblog Handbook" author Rebecca Blood says that "weblogs are not a new form of journalism, and shouldn't aspire to be so--She thinks that we're stronger (and more important and more interesting) as something different, and trying to fit us into a pre-existing mold, misses the point."

She points to the standards for Weblog ethics she proposes in her book -- all excellent ones to follow:
1. Publish only as fact that which you believe to be true.
2. If material exists online, link to it when you reference it.
3. Publicly correct any misinformation.
4. Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry.
5. Disclose any conflict of interest.
6. Note questionable and biased sources.

"In thinking about ethics for weblogging, Rebecca Blood discarded the journalistic standard of accuracy and fairness. Ms Blood believes that to be unrealistic, and not really in the spirit of what bloggers are doing. The standard she arrived at was transparency, and she derived each of guidelines from that principle." However, Hyscience does believe that the journalistic standard of accuracy and fairness is appropriate for bloggers, and intends to make a strong effort to be both accurate and fair in its posts. This does not mean that Hyscience posts are without bias - it only means that any such bias is disclosed and expressed as an opinion, not as fact.

So readers beware - Hyscience is a conservative, center-of-the-road to right-leaning blog.

Posted by Hyscience at January 22, 2005 11:27 PM



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