Notes for blogging ethics panel

Amy Gahran
The Blogworld Expo lounge, wifi included.

I’ve been writing a fair amount lately about blogging ethics, and it’s all been in preparation for my panel today. Here’s some food for thought from my panelists:

Toby Bloomberg recently did an excellent podcast exploring Astroturfing: Grassroots Sleaze

Graydancer has written some thoughtful posts on respecting privacy, and on setting a responsible example in public behavior.

Josh Lasser writes: “The biggest ethical issue I have come across happened when I attended a trip to New Orleans which was sponsored by Fox to promote their new show, K-Ville (we were there to interview the creator and attend red carpet/premiere party). One of the other bloggers related a story to the rest of us about writing a negative piece about a show, and getting cut off from getting screeners from that network. The group was split as to whether or not this was acceptable. It certainly wouldn’t have happened if this “blogger” was seen as real press, but because they were not, some of the group felt that it was okay for them to be instantly cut off. I found this to be a true ethical dilemma. What is the duty of the blogger to the people providing them with review material (of any type, not just television shows)? If they can be instantly cut off from material and the life blood of their blog, they cannot succeed. However, if they only provide positive reviews, how valid are they? But, on the other hand, if the person giving the material feels as though they’re not being given a fair chance, ought they have the right to cut off the source”

Charlotte-Anne Lucas has written several posts about ethics, which “That include the back and forth about my being plagiarized by the Buc-ee’s blog. This example involves journalism ethics and shows blogging ethics and how to handle ethical dilemmas in blogs. (you can also get to the post by clicking on the Buc-ee’s tag).

She also notes, “I would also love to discuss corrections and transparency — both huge issues at online news organizations and in blogs. We’ve had lots of conversations about that in my journalism/blogging classes, and it was a major league difference between and MarketWatch in the startup days. (I was a managing editor at and we had blogs on the site back in 2000.”

And for me? Recently over on Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits I’ve covered a couple of intriguing ethical issues about the clash between journalism and blogging ethics (which led to one Ohio blogger getting fired and the subsequent collapse of a group political blog), and on privacy. And on Contentious, I recently found myself wrangling with a minor ethical issue about how to handle blogging a bad experience with a business.

OK, and now I’m off to Blogworld! I’ll be posting more about the conference later.

4 thoughts on Notes for blogging ethics panel

  1. Pingback: blognation Canada » Blog Archive » Blogger Ethics–Oxymoron?

  2. Amy – have a great time! I’m not there but four buddies from Cleveland will be – George Nemeth (Brewed Fresh Daily), Eric Olson (who started BlogCritics). Thomas Mulready ( and Jim Kukral.

  3. Pingback: Jeff Jarvis on "Cleveland's Burning River of Bloggers" | Writes Like She Talks

  4. Pingback: - Why blogging conferences is so damn hard

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