uk: Blog bullies propel state of the internet into the spotlight

uk: Blog bullies propel state of the internet into the spotlight
Teachers are mocked on YouTube. Internet commentators receive death threats. But the UK press watchdog’s Tim Toulmin says that you can trust UK web journalists

The case for a form of non-statutory independent regulation for print and digital media, which protects freedom of expression, promotes good journalistic practice and provides redress for individuals when things go wrong is stronger than ever. The development of such a system through the Press Complaints Commission is perhaps one reason why the online journalism of UK newspapers and magazines – with its global audience of tens of millions of people – has not provoked the ethical questions raised by Alan Johnson and Jimmy Wales about You Tube and blogging.
Because the PCC – while independent – involves the industry in its decision making, no one considers circumventing its advice and rulings. The same cannot be said for imposed restrictions and injunctions, which are a clumsy and sometimes counterproductive alternative. In the online environment, the Commission’s non-statutory framework enables it to act quickly to resolve disputes in hours or days when things do go wrong – particularly important considering one of the main concerns people have concerns the speed of dissemination of inaccurate or intrusive information.
This is not a complete answer to the challenges thrown up by the revolution in information provision. But, while the rows over social-networking sites and blogging continue to simmer, it is at least worth highlighting that the British press has taken the lead in voluntarily subjecting its online written and audio-visual journalism to independently-policed professional standards.

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