Before we start to get “disclosure happy,” here is a very good piece written by Read Write Web on when bloggers should disclose information. This was pointed out by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger. The article actually illustrates journalism ethics as well as the ethics behind the business models of traditional publishers (it is sometimes tricky to balance business with ethics especially in the realm of journalism).
Nothing new really, but the piece is a helpful all in one guide to how to treat our disclosures as well as see what level we are in to becoming more professional about our blogging.
You’ll notice that I don’t include a rule about disclosing when you were paid to write about a specific topic or company. The reason is that any blogger who wants to be taken seriously as a journalist cannot and will not accept money or gifts from a source (or vice versa). That said, it should also be noted that there is a big difference between accepting gifts in exchange for writing a story and accepting review copies of goods for free. [full article here]
In summary, the article says that disclosure should happen when in these situations:
- Financial association (investment, ownership etc)
- Employment with the company being written about
- Writng about the Competition
- Personal involvement