Friday, June 24, 2005


CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Gillmor offers essense of integrity?

Dan Gillmor, former San Jose Mercury-News technology editor and columnist, has offered a simple approach to journalistic integrity at his new local/community website, "Bayosphere". He has put up a page inviting users to register as "citizen journalists." But before doing so, he asks them to agree to the following pledge:

"Citizen Journalist Pledge

"By submitting this form, I agree to be accurate, complete, fair and transparent in my postings on Bayosphere. I will operate with integrity.

"I work in the community interest.

"I report and produce news explaining the facts as fairly, thoroughly, accurately and openly as I can.

"Fair: I'm always listening to and taking account of other viewpoints; Thorough: I learn as much as I can in the time I have, and point to original sources when possible;

"Accurate: I get it right, checking my facts, correcting errors promptly and incorporating new information I learn from the community;

"Open: I explain my biases and conflicts, where appropriate. I may also provide reviews (such as a critique of a movie or book) and commentary with a point of view based on facts, but I will have no significant financial or otherwise direct connection (membership, affiliation, close relationship, etc.) with an interested party.

"If I do have such connections, I'll disclose them prominently, and my work may be labeled and/or categorized appropriately.

"I agree, as an active member of this community, to help uphold the integrity of this pledge by challenging and reporting inappropriate postings or abuse."

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