Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)
Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.
This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Blogger influence raises ethical questionsFrom what I can see, I think the problem isn't a lack of a code of ethics, it's in actually sticking to it if you have one. It's the same sort of thinking that believes if you pass a law against murder, no one will commit murder. You know, because it's against the law.
In any event, in the world where everyone now has a chance to post his own individual rantings on the fence, reliable information tends to rise to the top the hard-fought way--not in waving around a code of ethics you abide by in concept only, but in consistently doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do. Just as there is the guy you work with that you avoid because he's a raving crackpot, granted access to enough information, you can see who is on the level and whom to avoid.
A code or guideline is a helpful means to an end, but it is not an end unto itself. The problems the media have faced in the past few years are in many ways the direct result of being self-deceived as to the level of their own biases and lack of credibility. The adoption by so many in the paid press of a smug assuredness, in which they see themselves as immune to human pettiness or spite or envy or condescension or ignorance because of the presence of the talisman of Professional Ethics is the reason so many readers have begun to seek other alternatives. The mark of a true professional would be then, not to criticize and complain about the alternatives or those who seek them, but to set yourself straight first.
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so what if they're mostly me!