They say the pen is mightier than the sword. So if you’re a content writer, it’s always a good idea to keep a few things in mind before you wield your power with words. While the Society of Professional Journalists has outlined a code of ethics for journalists, content writers have an equal responsibility towards their work because of the commercial and legal implications involved. Just ask yourself these questions before you hit that Send button to make sure your words won’t ruffle any feathers.
Is your information reliable?
Using data to support an article has proven to be a very effective method of communication. But do your homework before including any facts and figures in your piece. Thorough research based on reliable sources give credibility to your work, and help to boost your readers’ trust.
Have you given due credit?
Once you’ve verified your sources to be the real thing, always give credit to them. This can be done with a simple hyperlink to the original article. Professional blogger Tony John says this not only facilitates further reading but will add value for all, the reader, the writer and the researcher.
Is your article original?
It’s not always easy to come up with fresh ideas and themes for content especially when you’ve been writing on the same topic for a while. While plagiarism or even regurgitating someone else’s content is an absolute no-no, you could always repurpose your own content in new and exciting ways.
Are you transparent about your purpose?
As a content writer, the purpose of your article is ultimately to promote a brand, product or service. You can do this with subtlety yet honesty. Ensuring that the reader understands the source, sponsor and intent of the content is an important element in the content code of ethics, according to Contently.
Do you take non-disclosure seriously?
The NDA is just a formality, isn’t it? Actually, not. As a content resource, you would be writing on behalf of a brand, organisation or person. You may even be privy to information that is not in the public domain. Treating the NDA with respect is the professional behaviour expected of both content agencies and content writers.
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