NY Times Rules for Blogging

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blogging has become a very popular way of getting your message across to a vast amount of people. Employers look to see if you are writing savvy and a good way to prove this is to have a blog. This week, the New York Times editor Craig Whitney wrote a memo on style for bloggers. It was very helpful, but not very reader friendly.

Here is a version of the rules of professional blogging (in a more friendly format):

  • What should be avoided in all of the blogs are racist, sexist and religious bias. Any nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tones are also undesirable.
  • If something could easily fit into a satirical website for young adults, it probably shouldn't go on news pages of the newyorktimes.com.
  • Contractions, colloquialisms (gonna, y'all, wanna, or phrases like "old as the hills"), and even slang are more allowable in blogs than in print.
  • Obscenity and vulgarity are not (That is, if you want to keep your job).
  • Unverified assertions of fact don't ever belong in blogs.
  • Writers and editors of blogs must also distinguish between personal tone, voice and unqualified personal opinion.
  • A blog or news column has to give enough arguement and fact on both or all sides of the issue to enable a person to agree or disagree.
  • The rule above does not apply to Op-Eds or editorials. These don't require a balanced look from both sides of the debate.
  • Headlines on analysis should try to capture the debate, not take sides.
  • If comments (you are responsible for comments) contain vulgarity, obscenity, offensive personal attacks (saying a person "sucks") or are incoherent, moderators are advised to just chuck them out.

Photo Credit: CreativeCommons, user: Digiart2001.


Kimberly Kurimski March 28, 2011 at 1:58 PM  

These rules are very helpful. I thought that some slang terms would be okay to use to show more personality through the blog. I'll be sure to never do that!

Jeremy Dubois March 30, 2011 at 7:43 AM  

Very interesting post that shows us that ethics rules of journalism also apply for blogs and not only for newspapers.

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