A2Ethics.org Errors Policy and Ethics Principles
(Effective date: August 31, 2009 -- Last Updated: April 14, 2012)
A2Ethics.org is a member of the online journalism, net news, commentary, opinion and bantering universe.
We are comfortable in this bantering universe.
We think it creates new freedoms for many more people to publicly express and to expand their interests and passions, and in so doing promote democratic practices and sociable habits.
We know that this bantering universe can be, and often is, a bullying and anti-social universe. Overall, we believe online journalism can and will ultimately inform and educate the public.
To get to this end, we believe individuals writing for and producing the material for online media have responsibilities to the public and to themselves. They, too, need to be informed and educated to be civic journalists and, at A2Ethics.org, to become the civic ethicists of our community.
What we find concerning in this ever-evolving online journalism universe is that many of the people writing and producing the body of work are not really held accountable. Their publics do not require them to check, source, attribute or correct themselves when they make mistakes to prove what they say is fact-based. And because the global reach and speed of this online journalism and bantering universe are highly regarded, little time is given to consider the potential harms done to others when errors continue to circle the earth.
We are quite aware that mistakes have dire consequences for people. We are familiar with the literature of mistakes, watch a lot of films about the screw-ups caused by errors, and listen to more than our fair share of country music, that is, the songs about being wronged and doing wrong.
We would like to encourage habits that do not wrong other people. And if we do wrong, we would like to encourage habits for attempting to put right what we have done.
Below are the habits we would like to foster at A2Ethics.org. They are outlined as our own Errors Policy and Ethics Principles. Any changes to these principles will be posted on this page and identified by the "last updated" date shown above.
Errors Policy and Ethics Principles
Yes, plagiarists think it’s not such a big deal. Maybe they confuse stealing words and another’s work with copyright infringement -- that lifting wholesale what someone else has written, filmed or composed and pretending it is your own is similar to copying a protected movie or downloading a piece of music without paying the owners.
Plagiarism is not like stealing a copyrighted work at all. It is more like identity theft. And at A2Ethics.org, we value our own identities enough that we don’t want to destroy someone else’s.
Our ideas and commentary in A2Ethics.org represent our impressions and understanding of people, events and institutions, most often based on reports and chronicles from other media. We know that they get their facts wrong, too. We will try to vet and check the key facts and ideas we rely on, but can’t promise to do this all the time.
We will source our material when it is applicable: to give you an understanding of where we are coming from and what and whom we consulted or quoted in our stories and posts.
Equally important, we will work on offering a wide range of opinions and views. No. Not for balance. Some ideas seem quite without balance to us. We think, however, that offering a range of views is more likely to allow you to get an accurate and honest understanding of a particular subject.
And too, equally as vital, we will let you know when we are advocates of a particular person, promoting an event or in favor of a specific cause. We will tell you if we know of a connection to the person, event or cause and what that relationship is. We can’t be responsible, however, for more than one degree of separation.
Let’s face it. We are not traditional reporters. Further, A2Ethics.org is not making any claim that we are providing you neutral and objective accounts. At A2Ethics.org, we traffic in the non-neutral, in the subjective. We consult angles, perspectives and views. We sometimes compose fictions and illusions as well as nonfictions and realities.
And we make judgments all the time -- about what we choose to write about, the causes we are going to study and about the intentions and actions of people and of institutions.
We have our own ethics too. So, the idea that we will be objective or without biases is not true to our experience of ethics. People have widely divergent and, on occasion, similar ideas about what is and what is not unethical. We can’t take off our ethics. But we can point out to you when we are taking a particular view of ethics. We expect you, when you contribute and comment, to do the same.
And we will let you know when we are writing fictions and creating illusions, from parodies and drama to any of our photos, artwork and exhibits. We expect you, when you contribute and comment, to do the same. This expectation is very important.
When we realize we have made a mistake or more than one, we will correct them as soon as we can. If the mistake is a spelling or grammatical one, however, we will correct these errors to our work without publicizing them.
This does not hold for misspelling names or mislabeling a photo we have taken. In these cases, we will identify the error we have made at the end of the affected work or post. Other cases where we will make public corrections include:
If we have a quotation wrong.
If we publish a graph or chart which is incorrect.
If a statistic we use is in error.
If what we have claimed as a factual statement is wrong.
Further, you can help us in outing our errors, by letting us know if you read or listen to a mistake. Contact us at: [email protected] and describe in detail the mistake or mistakes we have made in our work. In addition, make sure you include the source you are using and a way we can access this source. We will check it. After our investigation, if we find we are wrong, we will correct the error and publish it at the bottom of the work.
For more information about the ethics of errors and the ethics of journalism in general, the following links may be useful:
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding this errors and ethics principles policy, please send us an email at: [email protected].