Please publicly display, with easy access, your ethics policy/statement.
This petition had 463 supporters
Why should we care about an ethics policy at all? Well, the biggest reason is accountability. While we all have our own ideas about what game journalism ethics should be, an outlet that has a clear set of rules that are easily accessible for all to see can be held accountable by the public. It would be much easier to notice a breach in ethics when an outlet's thoughts on ethics are there for everyone to see. Therefore, it will help journalists think twice about breaking that policy (if they were going to at all). Also, this would help avoid a debate on what the ethics should be if a member of the public catches a journalist/outlet breaking its own policy.
Another significant reason to have a publicly available, easily accessible ethics policy is so that it can be criticized. If a large section of the community disagrees with what they believe to uphold journalistic integrity, or think it needs some work, then it should be reviewed. Adjustments should be made to ensure that integrity is held in tact. Even more importantly, and hopefully all outlets would strive for this, being open to criticism will help slowly mold ethics policies into the best that they can be. As said before, we all have different ideas on game journalism ethics, but this would help make it a communal effort to ensure something better comes out of what we currently have.
Lastly, having publicly available, easily accessible ethics policies will benefit readers greatly too. For one thing, they can judge an outlet based on that policy. From their judgment they could then choose to either criticize it, ignore it, or choose a different outlet to follow. Knowing what governs an outlet, even if judged a poor policy because it can be criticized, will greatly help create a community of trust.
Publicly available, easily accessible ethics policies will prove a commitment to integrity for all the reasons listed above. We need to move beyond this air of distrust that the community/gaming industry as at the moment, and for that to happen, many outlets have to work hard to regain trust.
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