Hobbyist Media Code of Ethics v1.0
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Honesty, Accuracy, and Professionalism
- Ensure, to the best of reasonable ability, the correctness of all factual claims.
- Provide a method by which inaccuracies in an article can be reported, either through comments, emails or other equivalents.
- Respond quickly to reasonable queries regarding factual accuracy.
- Clearly indicate all substantive edits made to documents after publication, and when they were made.
- Avoid clickbait titles that over-sell or sensationalize the content of a piece of coverage.
- Ensure detailed note-keeping, either written or recorded, of all interviews.
- Retain personal copies of all transient information that is important in coverage, such as web-pages, social media comments, and images.
- Serve as an exemplar of the high standards expected of others.
- Where ethical complexities may have influenced the coverage of a topic, explain these to the audience.
Fairness and Authenticity
- Minimize that which can reasonably be considered harmful to the direct subjects of articles.
- Eliminate that which can reasonably be considered harmful to those that are not the direct subject of articles.
- Permit subjects of articles reasonable right to reply that is given proportional visibility on the relevant article(s).
- Journalistic pieces should seek impartiality by ensuring all named parties in a piece are contacted for comment ahead of publication.
- Respond quickly to reasonable queries from subjects of coverage regarding fairness.
- Consider the long-term implications associated with the permanent publication of an article.
Accreditation of Contribution
- Where review material has been provided, prominently indicate this either on the article or in some other obvious fashion.
- Publicly disclose the policy under which review material will be solicited or accepted.
- Cite the source of all external contributions, along with an appropriate dofollow link.
- Accredit external contributions drawn from social media comments in line with their original expectation of visibility.
- Redact or anonymise contributions that draw from external sources that unduly reveal personal information.
- If a contribution is required to be anonymised, then clearly indicate an anonymisation process has taken place.
- Clearly indicate the licence associated with external usage of your content.
- Ensure all external content used is done so in line with its licence.
Transparency and Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest
- Avoid conflicts of interest that can be avoided.
- Prominently label all content that has a promotional or marketing component and ensure this is the first thing viewers see.
- Avoid content that would blur the line between that which is promotional and that which is opinion based.
- If one has a direct relationship to a product, prominently disclose this in all coverage. If an outlet has multiple editorial voices available, ensure coverage is provided by someone not directly linked to the product.
- Disclose when unavoidable outside factors could reasonably be considered to have impacted on coverage. These may include profound ideological beliefs; pre-existing connections to the subject of articles; financial interests; and more.
- Refuse gifts, favours, subsidies and direct payments offered in exchange or as a reward for the provision of opinion-based coverage, with the exception of necessary review material.
- Refuse gifts, favours, subsidies and direct payments from subjects of coverage in any circumstance where they exceed some predefined de minimis threshold. This threshold should be public information.
- Do not provide favourable treatment for those that support or fund the work undertaken. Resist internal and external pressures to do so.
- Avoid directly covering the products or services of former employers within a pre-stated time period of association.
- Avoid directly covering the products or services of likely future employers.
- Prominently disclose all affiliate links and other financial inducements.
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