I’m usually glad if I can view my stats without a microscope but in the past few days they’ve gone through the proverbial roof. Why? I wrote a piece that discussed how I felt about the legal drinking age. It was inspired by an interview I heard on radio with the President of the AMA (Australian Medical Association). He thought the legal drinking age should be raised from 18 to 25 and I agree.
I’m not a journalist, I’m a writer and this was a personal piece. I didn’t feel the need to haul in experts that would agree with my thesis. I just wanted to talk about an issue that attracted my attention and that I could relate to. But it was coincidental that when I’d finished this article I saw an article online about a young girl whose death, it was thought, was alcohol related. I used that report as a post script to back up my opinion. This girl was bright and had a future. It had been taken from her. It was suggested to me by a fellow blogger that the coroner’s report hadn’t come out yet. Because, as I said, I am a writer not a journalist and as it was also suggested that it would upset the heartbroken family to have to see it or hear about it, no matter how mild or respectful the entry, I have decided to delete that part of my article.
Writing this piece makes me wonder what responsibility we bloggers have to ourselves. We don’t want to libel anyone or be sued for what we write. We are usually a one man / woman team with no lawyer to go over what we’ve said that might be misconstrued. Most of us though are unlikely to fall into that trap. Certainly those blogs I’ve come across through freshly pressed are mild enough. They’re about recipes or writing blogs or mummy blogs. A sample of today’s lot is: Archaeology, Technology, History, Music and Photography. On the whole, pretty mild stuff.
What responsibility do we have to others who may pass through? Integrity is the first word that comes to mind. We owe it to ourselves and our readers (sparse as mine are) to amuse and to inform or at least in my case inform about my subjective opinions. Last but not least, whatever our intent in setting up our blogs I think we should be like doctors and do good but ‘do no harm.’