Archive for September 10th, 2007

There’s alot I would like to say about this post and video… some good, some (alot) bad.  But, I would thought I would let you decide where the discussion would go.  I am especially interested in hearing from women and parents.  And is the solution to the problem of the family really going to be a “present return to the old paths”?  I personally don’t think we have that option, and don’t really want to.  I just don’t get the ODM’s obsession with the past.  I have a stronger interest in what God is going to do in the days to come.

And for the record… I never understand why the voice of God in these films is an old British man.  I am pretty sure God would sound more like an Iraqi than a Englishman.

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Anonymous Watchdawggies beware!In the book of Matthew, Jesus gives us advice on allowing our words to be our own, that our “yes” should be “yes”, and our “no” should be “no” – with no other need of qualification. This teaching is an underlying biblical precept behind journalistic integrity. One needs to be willing to give an answer that is a) truthful; and b) one’s own.

There has been some discussion on the use of anonymity in posting and replying to blog articles, from which I have held off fully delving into. I’ve taken some time to check out journalistic sources, written and living, and having done so, I think that it is incredibly important that we in the Christian blogging community consider our theory and practice.

Blogging and Reporting

Per a number of journalistic courses, one of the lynchpins of journalistic integrity is that of attribution (or authorship for opinion pieces). If controversial statements cannot be attributed to a source, or opinion to a writer, trust with the reader does not exist. This is why there are such strict rules within journalism about attributing sources that wish to remain anonymous – if there is a legitimate reason to maintain anonymity, the quote and source have to be validated by a more senior editor.

In the case of editorial opinion, attribution is also the keystone of integrity. Without it, no writer is accountable for his or her written opinions. Without it, the writer is free to be as irresponsible as they wish to be without fear of consequence. For a journalist, it is an ultimate act of cowardice to withold signature to your opinion and the ultimate act of arrogance to sign your name to something you didn’t write.

The one primary exception for opinion pieces and group reporting is given for editorial board opinions and journalist pool articles, in which no individual authorship is given, and is assumed to be attributed to the senior editor/reporter of the board/pool. If they refuse this responsibility, then authorship is to be attributed to all individuals contributing to the story. Sometimes, this is done anyway, to give credit where credit is due.

What does this mean for us? Initially, we had an account called “Sliced” used for linking articles, and we used our names to identify original articles. For similar reasons to those above, we did away with this posting account. For ODM bloggers, there are some with this level of integrity and accountability, while there are others that completely lack this basic level of integrity and accountability. When individuals from the latter are taken to task for the anonymously written content on their site, they just throw up their hands and pass the buck of responsibility, taking the coward’s way out, saying “sorry, it wasn’t me”. Even the most senior editor. Getting someone to stand up for their own words is like trying to nail jell-o to a wall (which, interestingly, is one of their chief criticisms of the e/e movement…)

However, since accountability isn’t an ODM strong suit, this shouldn’t be surprising.

Commenting

In blogging, one of the basest – often the only – source of accountability is the use of comments. By allowing (or disallowing) comments, bloggers signal their willingness (or unwillingness) to be held accountable for what they write. Worse yet, the willingness to freely allow supportive comments while severely restricting dissenting ones is a clear signal of bankruptcy of accountability (and a lack of confidence in their own writing).

In light of this, we at CRN.info have a “DO NOT DELETE COMMENTS” policy* to which we adhere. We both allow and value well-reasoned dissent, particular when offered in a fashion congruent with Jesus’ and Paul’s teaching.

What about anonymity in commenting? Originally, we required people to register on this site before accepting their comments. However, this prevented people with no personal email accounts from participating, so we relaxed our policy to “moderation of the first comment, and auto-approval thereafter”. To this point, this seems to have worked. However, if it appears that people are using this function to hide behind anonymity, this will revert back to required registration with a functioning email address.

In Summary

We believe that integrity and accountability on the part of Christian bloggers, ourselves included, is a bedrock principle that should be expected of us. We believe that our “yes” should be “yes”, and our “no” should be “no” – and that the reader should know WHO’S saying “yes” or “no”. Without attribution of content and an open and free playing field on which to challenge what we have written, this accountability and integrity is utterly absent.

That is why we manage this site the way we do.

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*The exceptions to this policy are for use of overt blasphemy and/or profanity. There have been two instances where comments that should not have been deleted (or should have been approved from moderation) were not, both of which were subsequently apologized for and corrected, to the best of our ability

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The elusive editor recently wrote a post about this video of a baptism service at Elevation Church. The editor writes

Listen as Furtick tells you about his staff meeting where they had decided a “God-sized” number of baptisms for the year. And even as Furtick trumpets how they had exceded their “goal” ol’ Pastor Steve still has a little trouble reigning in his angry spirit:

Can you find the “chip” on the pastor’s shoulder in this video? This sounds like a classic case of church envy. I mean, they couldn’t say he was ashamed of the gospel, due to his very open gospel presentation. So I guess the next logical step would be to make fun of him because he has had too many baptisms. That sound like what Jesus would do, right? Right.

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The new CRN.info podcast, titled Justice and Mercy, is coming. Here’s a quick promo. Look for it to appear here soon.

 
icon for podpress  Justice and Mercy is coming...: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
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