Ujjwal Acharya is now leading the effort to establish code of ethics for Nepali bloggers. A welcome initiative and his leadership on this is appreciated. As he brings both real world journalism and blogging experience, I am interested to hear what specifics he proposes. For now, his post on the code of ethics has broad outline.
“Here is a primary plan:
- A code of Ethics is formulated
- Bloggers can choose to become a signatory of the Code of Ethics
- The Code of Ethics will be kept online officially with the list of signatories
- All signatory bloggers agree to follow the Code of Ethics”
From where I stand, I see a general code of ethics for Nepali bloggers as a necessity.
MySansar being bullied by the Press Council, questions raised after MySansar published IP and email address of some who commented on one of their posts and the flap over Hello Sukrabar publishing tweets of unsuspecting users-Nepali blogosphere needs to uphold certain standards if it wants to be taken seriously and maintain newfound influence.
Journalists, media houses, publishers, all have code of ethics to abide by. These rules ensure that the members behave in certain way and promise to uphold professional duties in honorable fashion. Yes, there are some who don’t care about ethics and degrade themselves; but majority still does honor these codes( with varying degree of commitment, of course).
Creating a group of Nepali bloggers with high ethics standards will not only ensure quality and professionalism; but will also boost the country’s citizen media’s trust worthiness. Mainstream media in the country has been long accused of being biased and not taking ethics seriously; committed bloggers with ethical standards will be able to provide an alternative-however limited.
My only concern, at this point where no specifics have been discussed or decided, is the enforcement part. How to check on bloggers who have pledged to honor code of ethics? what are the consequences, if any, of signing on and then breaking the promise? And, how to create an environment where breaking ethics code is a serious offense when the country itself does not take ethics seriously? (Consider Nepal’s tainted politics, corruption at various levels in private and public sector and a growing trend of dishonesty in academia)
This effort to unite Nepali bloggers through code of ethics should not just be an exercise in networking and signing the pledge; but be an honest commitment. And this is the most difficult part, but for now let us welcome this effort .