Much has been said about how to blog well. Less has been said about how to blog ethically.

You might find bloggers and blogging questionable, and not without reason. Bloggers lack fact-checkers; they’re not required to properly cite their sources (or even cite them at all); they can write pretty much anything; and the means for holding them accountable are few. Some believe unethical, one-sided blogging has been responsible for the past decade’s worth of political polarization. (A good study of the issue can be found summed up on crookedtimber.org.)

However, responsible bloggers do exist and so do a number of good ethics resources–if you know where to find them.

Check out Rebecca’s Pocket, a catch-all blog that happens to have a critical discussion on blogging ethics.

If you’re looking for something succinct, Cyberjournalist.net provides an code of ethics based off of the Society of Professional Journalists‘.

Another good resource from a professional’s perspective can be found at Journalismethics.ca. The site includes a code of ethics as well as other resources relevant to aspiring journalists.

Additionally, you can find one final site for ethical info: my own. For the sake of being fashionable, I’ve compiled a code of ethics too:

  1. Don’t prevaricate and be objective: Be honest and fair; don’t lie or delibrately misrepresent facts.
  2. Link your sources: When you make a point or accusation, have the gumption to link your sources (if they’re online) so your reader can check them for his or herself.
  3. Be open about your source’s shortcomings: Where your sources are questionable, admit as much to your reader.
  4. Be honest about conflicts of interest: Generally not a problem for your average amateur blogger. However, if you own a shoe shop and blog about shoes, be sure to mention it to your readers. It’ll give them the context they need to properly judge your blog’s slant.
  5. Be open and accountable about errors: When you make a mistake, acknowledge and correct it; treat each post as a final, finished product. You can add to a post, but it’s not kosher to remove entries. Nor should you try concealing an error by surreptitiously editing it out of existence. (When you decide to excise a paragraph, don’t delete; instead use strikethrough to indicate what’s been removed.)

If you want to keep ethical, it’s recommended to post a list of ethics in your workspace.

If you really don’t care and would rather just learn how to blog, click no further than—here. Problogger.net has a comprehensive set of posts on everything from blog concept to design.

<Edited to fix broken links.>