News Bloggers Code of Ethics Facebook group
 
     As my students are creating, designing and posting on their class blogs, all kinds of questions have come up that I thought I knew how to answer but am not sure anymore. 
     *How much copy can you take from another blogger’s post (if you also include the link and attribution!!) before it’s stealing? Do print media rules apply?
     *One student found an image of the American flag. He found that three other bloggers used it, edited it, then created their own copyright for it. What’s up with that, he wondered? Can they do that? Don’t they have to credit the original photographer? WAS there an original photographer? Is it a photo or a photo illustration? How does HE credit it on his blog now? He, too, edited it and thus altered the possibly original image.
     *If you hyperlink an article, study, report within your blog or website post, does that count as attribution? What if the link breaks? Do you have to mention the name, date, origin of the study or can you simply hyperlink a phrase like “a recent study” suggests….?
     As an old media hound, I abhor a hyperlinked word or phrase as the sole form of attribution. I want to see the citation right there in print, which is the model I require for my students. They think I’m nuts. IT’S THERE, they said. Trust the link, they say. Except when you can’t, they say.
     *How do you ethically preserve information (I know, I know…CONTENT) if the link is broken, one student wondered. YouTube links, for example. What if it’s discontinued or vanished? He said he downloads it to save it and then fumbles about with an attribution like “User Snoop Dogg” with a date.
Is that fair? He’s attributing as best as he can.
     Obviously I haven’t figure out how to hyperlink yet or I’d have done it throughout this post.  One thing at a time.
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