Code of Ethics? Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar suggested today that bloggers consider formulating a Code of Ethics. He was opening the second Bloggers' Buff, a forum/gathering of not-too-political bloggers, in KL this morning [read h e r e].
I think it is not something that is easy to initiate, let alone accomplish, but I think it's a good thing to have.
Of course, not everyone thought bloggers should do it. One participant said it was akin to taking a step closer towards censoring the blog. On the contrary, I responded. A Code of Ethics would act a set of guidelines on how citizen journalists and citizen media behave.
Malaysiakini's misreporting last month on Najib Razak's "manifesto" was discussed in the context of such ethics. Some took the view that Malaysiakini was being irresponsible but I told the seminar that Malaysiakini's decision to apologize to Najib and its readers for the error was the ethical thing to do. The editors of the Malaysiakini were adhering to journalism's basic code of ethics. Something similar could be adopted for the blogging community, I said.
Of course, some of us won't give a damn.
The Bloggers' Buff was held on the same day Indonesian bloggers had their Pesta Blogger. I was invited as a panelist by the Buff organisers in my capacity as the protem president of the National Alliance of Bloggers. YB Jeff Ooi, who is also All-Blog protem vice president, has been in Indonesia for the Pesta Blogger, which has gone a little bigger and a bit more "international" this year.