Luca De Biase
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Martedì, 18 gennaio 2005

Personal ethics

David Weinberger agrees with Bill Mitchell and Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute writing a paper for the upcoming conference on blogging, journalism and credibility: "Earn Your Own Trust, Roll Your Own Ethics: Transparency and Beyond".

Editorial frames are to be choosen by who publishes. It does't change if it is a blog or a newspaper. Is it the same with ethics?

Yes, in a way. Publishing is a fair activity if it is made following a sort of agreement with the public. And if who publishes sticks to what was promised.

But this is only step one. Which is already a very revolutionary improvement.

Step two should be about improving the collective system that grows aroung the need for information. And at this point problems arise. What if one sticks to verifying what is being written and never excedes the limit of a research methodology in proving the news, while others speak aloud about gosts of information that conquer much more attention? It happens a lot. Is it only a question to be solved by the market and the quality of readers (that in time should abandon bad information and go towards the good one)?

This is not going to be easily solved. Shouldn't there be a sort of common behaviour and feeling that awards those that look for proven information and disregards those that just cry aloud? Shouldn't this kind of behaviour be extended while the other should be distrusted? How can this be achieved without a sort of (sort of) ethics?

I don't know the answer. I know that some circles will have their own answer and it will be a sort of (sort of) ethics. In general, there will never be agreement about this. And that's why I also agree with Mitchell's and Steele's proposal as a revolutionary step one. But don't ask me to be completely and surely happy with it...

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