Justice Johnstone Clarifies Remarks About Bloggers

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Retired Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Martin E. Johnstone's comments in the Louisville Bar Briefs which cite the challenges blogs pose to the judiciary were directed at political blogs and not legal blogs, I am pleased to report. Further, he is most interested in participating in a forum to air concerns of the bench and the bar.
As retired Judge Stan Billingsly noted on his LawReader blog, announcing the formation of the American Association of Internet Journalists this summer, membership would impose ethical standards, which include:
"Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, nor give distorting emphasis.
Make efforts to give the subject of any damaging report an opportunity to comment, preferably in that same report.
Urge the fair correction of errors.
Do not allow personal beliefs or commitments to undermine accuracy, fairness and independence. Where a political bias is present it should be identified and disclosed publicly online."
If these principles were followed, some of the perceived harm to the judicial branch of government caused by the political blogs may be mitigated. Although the most ranting of political blogs will not likely join, publicly posting a seal of membership may lend credibility to the rest.
Our July 31, 2006 post announcing the formation of this association provides several other links to articles on the increasing influence of blogs.
Finally, while we're blogging about blogs, the Indiana Law Blog, winner of the Indiana Judges Association media award, posted today Blogs are emerging as a powerful tool for lawyers, judges and law professors.
UPDATE: See Mike Stevens' posting about this post at Kentucky Lw Blog. I am overwhelmed by his kind words.

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