Ethical Responsibility for User-Generated Content
The Society of Editors has revised its Editors’ Code of Practice to include guidelines related to user-generated content, according to HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk.
The preamble will now clarify that editors and publishers are responsible for applying the Code to ‘editorial material in both printed and online versions of publications.’ Moreover, they are to ensure that the ethical precepts are ‘observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists.’ Editors’ Code Committee Chair Les Hinton of News International said the group considered it vital that the code’s ‘approach to online and printed versions of newspapers was fully synchronised.’
The Society of Editors is printing and distributing 40,000 wallet-size copies of the revised code to Britain's journalists and civic leaders. The change, along with a separate modification related to subterfuge in information gathering, will come into force from August 1.
Mike Gilson of the Scotsman is among the senior newspaper executives on the society’s Editors’ Code Committee.
Background information, along with additional information about the change in the guidelines on subterfuge, is available at http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/day/code/070627update.shtml and from the news section of the Society of Editors Web site.