For your convenience, here are some of the most important guidelines our bloggers must follow:
• AnnistonStar.com reserves the right to republish, edit or delete any blog entry or comments to a blog.
• Bloggers must identify themselves by first and last name and include some basic biographical information on their blog.
• Stay on topic. We’d ask your posts focus on sharing the happenings of your community. Think of it as a back porch where you can exchange news and views.
• Do not post copyrighted content. The best practice is to quote from a few sentences of the material and then provide a hyperlink to the rest.
• Do not post personal attacks, insults or threats.
• Do not post knowingly false information. Your credibility is on the line.
• Do not post obscene, explicit or racist language.
• Do not post commercial product promotion or spam
• When quoting material, include your source(s.)
How to get started
Go to AnnistonStar.com/pages/bloggers and tell us a little about yourself. We’ll review your information and invite you to our offices at 4305 McClellan Blvd. in Anniston. We’ll help you set up your username, password and go over our guidelines. We’ll also take a photograph of you that will accompany your blog. What you do next is up to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 1: The Anniston Star's guides for community bloggers
Community bloggers on AnnistonStar.com should never identify themselves as or imply that they are working for The Anniston Star, AnnistonStar.com or Consolidated Publishing as a staffer or freelancer.
Bloggers should clearly identify themselves as “a community blogger on AnnistonStar.com.”
Bloggers should not use or try to use their blog or relationship with AnnistonStar.com to gain free access to events or to accept or solicit free products.
Part 2: A bloggers' code of ethics
(adapted from http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/000215.php)
- Be Honest and Fair -
Bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
• Never plagiarize.
• Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
• Make certain that Weblog entries, quotations, headlines, photos and all other content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
• Never publish information they know is inaccurate -- and if publishing questionable information, make it clear it's in doubt.
• Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.
- Minimize Harm -
Ethical bloggers treat sources and subjects as human beings deserving of respect.
• Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content.
• Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.
• Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy.
• Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
- Be Accountable - Bloggers should:
• Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
• Explain each Weblog's mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers' conduct.
• Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas.
• Deny favored treatment or coverage of businesses, individuals or events in exchange for free products or admission. When exceptions are made, disclose them fully to readers.
Part 3: Posting guidelines
• No personal attacks or threats against other users or individuals; no libelous, harassing or abusive statements; no submission of personal information or likenesses of other persons without their consent; no stalking; no cheering or advocating harm to or violence against another person.
• No disparaging comments about a victim or victim's family in a tragedy.
• No attacks on individuals or groups based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or other classification.
• No content that is obscene, vulgar or sexually explicit. This includes masked words (****), acronyms and abbreviations.
• No commercial product promotions or off-topic messages; no spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes or fraudulent or deceptive messages; no false claims of affiliation with any third party.
• No posting of copyright infringing material, or any material whose posting on our sites could result in infringement of any third party intellectual property or privacy or publicity rights.
• NO POSTS IN ALL CAPS.
• Usernames are governed by the same standards as other content submissions, meaning first and last names.
• Editors have the final say in interpreting these rules.