Exploring ethics, standards in science blogging


As a follow up to ScienceOnline 2011, independent journalist Maryn McKenna writes about bringing the standards of journalism to blogging.

Maryn McKenna
Maryn McKenna

At the annual meeting that brings together scientists, journalists, bloggers and others interested in communicating about science, McKenna took part in a discussion about ethics and credibility.

Regular readers of Covering Health will remember last year’s ScienceBlogs controversy as well as health journalist Mary Knudson’s decision to not blog for U.S. News & World Report when she noticed her first post had been studded with sponsored hyperlinks.

McKenna, who is a member of AHCJ’s board of directors, outlines how she has brought her own “best practices” to blogging and outlines them. She also highlights several points from AHCJ’s statement of principles that specifically deal with issues medical and science writers face.

Of course, as some people at the meeting noted, not everyone who blogs is – or wants to be – a journalist. But many of them do see the need for standards and transparency, as science writer Ed Yong points out. Science journalist Dave Mosher, of Wired.com, also explores the topic.

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