Codes of Ethics for Bloggers and Journalists
In media, many decisions must be made at split-second speed. If we have an ethical framework to use, if we’ve already had these discussions and know our limits, if we’ve explored case studies and learned from our industry’s mistakes, we are in a far stronger position to make good, just, fair, accurate and ethical decisions as these situations arise.
There are numerous conversations going on about how to deepen and strengthen ethics in media. Here are some Blogging Code of Ethics

Journalist Code of Ethics

The Poynter Institute: The Ethics of Posting Mug Shots

Ethical Lapses This Year

Ethics Resources and Articles


I don’t get this. Cool job. Apparent brain. Head attached. What could possibly compel somebody to self destruct like this? It’s SO Five-Years -Jayson Blair-Ago. Getting fired for plagiarism is so cliche it’s like an  ABS after school special.

If somebody else wrote it, don’t put it in your story unless you use these ” ” around it and put the name of the somebody else who wrote it, where and when. OKAY?

Rising Media Star Fired For — Plagiarism

Fortune‘s Barney Gimbel Leaves Magazine Amid Plagiarism Charge

Fortune’s Barney Gimbel Leaves Magazine Amid Plagiarism Charge |

The New York Observer
“In the March 16 issue of Fortune magazine, which will hit newsstands on March 9, the magazine is issuing an apology to its readers for plagiarizing a New York Times Magazine article from 2004….”

And a little lower in the story…..

“When the author of the Fortune story, a young, rising star at the magazine named Barney Gimbel, was presented with the two stories and the lifted passages during an internal investigation, he offered his resignation.”

  1. Thrilled to get this comment from Renee Hobbs, one of the creators of the Fair Use Code. This document is a light in the New Media fog. I like the idea of “re-purposing” as a means test. Will report back on what my students think and how it influences their thinking and actual work.
  2. Renee Hobbs Says:
    November 14, 2008 at 4:29 am e

    You ask if your use of an excerpt from the report is a fair use. You ask: Who decides?

    When you read the report, you’ll discover that educators (yes, us) decide whether a particular use is a fair use. We don’t need to rely on lawyers to interpret for us.

    My judgment, as one of the creators of the Code: your use of this excerpt is fair use, because you are re-purposing some paragraphs as a means to attract attention to the Code of Best Practices from among your readers.

    By attracting new readers to the Code, your blog adds value to the report. Use fair use with confidence– and get out of copyright confusion by reading the Code!

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.