One small step for blogs

There is a hint today in Minnesota — just a hint — that the blogosphere can police itself when it comes to ethics, a step toward meeting the medium’s apparent goal as “the new journalism.”

True North is a conservative Minnesota blog with several contributors. One of them, who goes by the name of Seventh Son, wrote regularly for the blog until other bloggers started noticing something peculiar: it was their work, passed off as his own.

“I have no tolerance for people who take credit for others’ hard work, whether through stupidity or laziness. And together with the Nucleus here at True North we came to a decision. We’ve removed The Seventh Son as a Contributor, and pulled down all of his posts,” wrote True North founder Andy Aplikoski.

Seventh Son turned out to be Michael Barrett, who ran as the GOP candidate in the 7th District in the last election.

The significance, however, is that blogs, already pretty good policemen of others, are showing an ability to police themselves on journalistic principles. Far from muting the debate about whether blogs are killing journalism, they are at least showing a growing sensibility toward ethics.

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