Jay Rosen on why bloggers have already written the rulebook on ethical blogging

I really like NYU professor Jay Rosen’s mantra-like tweets and posts, which more often than not, contain obvious truth that he somehow is the first to articulate.

Like this one on the pressure to create ethical rules for bloggers:

If “ethics” are the codification in rules of the practices that lead to trust on the platform where the users actually are… then journalists have their ethics and bloggers have theirs.

  • They correct themselves early, easily and often.
  • They don’t claim neutrality but they do practice transparency.
  • They give you their site, but also other sites as a frame of reference.
  • When they grab on to something they don’t let go but “track” it.

In all these ways they build up trust with a base of users online. And over time, the practices that lead to trust on the platform where the users actually are… become their ethic, their rules.

People in journalism who want to bring ethics to blogging ought to start with why people trust bloggers, not with an ethics template made for a prior platform that was a closed system in a one-to-many world.

That’s why I say: if bloggers had no ethics blogging would have failed. Of course it didn’t. Now you have a clue.