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10 Commandments for Citizen Reporters
Reader caution advised. Intimidation may be experienced.
Michael Lomas (lomas)     Print Article 
Published 2007-06-23 10:23 (KST)   
Recently the Catholic Church has announced "10 Commandments for Drivers." The Vatican's apparent focus on the sins and carnage of the highway has prompted me to concoct 10 Citizen Reporter Commandments. It is hoped they will serve the worldwide army of citizen reporters, in particular those who contribute to the distinguished potpourri of OhmyNews news.

However, before issuing these commandments, I will reiterate the Vatican's pronouncement:

1. Thou shalt not kill
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events
4. Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents;
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so
7. Support the families of accident victims
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party
10. Feel responsible toward others.

Here are the 10 Citizen Reporter Commandments as envisaged by me:

1. Thou shalt not spell words incorrectly
2. The word processor and Internet shall be for you a means of communion between people and not for spam or self-aggrandizement
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with editors who are having a bad day
4. Be charitable and help your fellow citizen reporter in need, especially victims of writer셲 block
5. Words shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin such as in the use of vulgar language
6. Charitably convince the young citizen reporter and not so young citizen reporter not to write when they are not in a fitting condition to do so such as when feeling verbose
7. Support the families of citizen reporter victims such as those who have been rejected by editors.
8. Bring plagiarizing citizen reporters and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so they can undergo the liberating experience of being threatened with a lawsuit
9. On the page, protect the more vulnerable reader from becoming bored by your words by writing more succinctly
10. Feel responsible toward readers. Without them you are but a tree that falls alone in a forest: silent.

These commandments, in whole or in part, do not supersede the OhmyNews Reporter's Code of Ethics which can be reviewed by registered OhmyNews reporters in the FAQ section of this Web site and are as follows:
1. The citizen reporter must work in the spirit that "all citizens are reporters," and plainly identify himself as a citizen reporter while covering stories.
2. The citizen reporter does not spread false information. He does not write articles based on groundless assumptions or predictions.
3. The citizen reporter does not use abusive, vulgar, or otherwise offensive language constituting a personal attack.
4. The citizen reporter does not damage the reputation of others by composing articles that infringe on personal privacy.
5. The citizen reporter uses legitimate methods to gather information, and clearly informs his sources of the intention to cover a story.
6. The citizen reporter does not use his position for unjust gain, or otherwise seek personal profit.
7. The citizen reporter does not exaggerate or distort facts on behalf of himself or any organization to which he belongs.
8. The citizen reporter apologizes fully and promptly for coverage that is wrong or otherwise inappropriate.

©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Lomas

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