15 November 2010


No, it isn’t like uncommunication.

The Canadian Association of Journalists has a new draft set of guidelines on correcting online information and dealing with requests to remove online material. CAJ handed the job of drafting the guidelines to an “unpublishing panel” of the CAJ ethics committee.

You can find an excellent summary of the issues involved at j-source.ca.

Here are the basic principles CAJ is proposing for how to handle requests to unpublish a particular post.  Again, there is a more detailed discussion at j-source.ca along with an explanation of each point.

  1. We [the online publisher] are in the publishing business and generally should not unpublish.
  2. Ongoing accuracy is our responsibility.
  3. Put a clear policy in place.
  4. Unpublish for the right reasons.
  5. It’s fair to be human.
  6. Source remorse is not a right reason to unpublish.
  7. Unpublish by consensus.
  8. Explain your unpublishing policy.
  9. Help sources understand the implications of digital publishing.
  10. Consider the impact of publishing before publication.

- srbp -