Fri Jan 12th, 2007 at 05:10:38 AM EST
The new year has now really started, and diaries and discussion threads are taking off, with visits from many new readers, commenters and article writers. This might be a good time to briefly re-visit the blog ethics and culture that have developed here since the European Tribune began in June 2005.
I believe that a lot of us who frequent the European Tribune feel that one of its strong points is the culture of positive and respectful debate. We don't always agree with each other on various topics, and that's okay because we learn through polite and informed debate and discussion of our respective points of view. The European Tribune has (luckily) rarely had to deal with people who use the pages
of ET to smear, sneer at, or bully people who have other points of view than theirs, and we fully expect this to continue in the future.
More below. Note that I fully support this statement. -- Jérôme.
If, however, this sort of abusive communication style does occur, it is entirely within the community's rights to appropriately confront -- either through comments, or through the use of the rating system -- anyone abusing the privilege of involvement with the European Tribune. Hopefully we won't have to do this too often, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to inform our newcomers about these kinds of issues and how we can continue to make European Tribune a friendly and comfortable place to visit.
On a positive note, I want to briefly acknowledge that in the recent months we have seen a very welcome increase in female community members and writers. You are SO welcome here!!! For a good long time many of us around ET have tried to encourage a more balanced male-female involvement, perspective and awareness. After
all, we are trying to reflect a progressive sensitivity. Some of the feedback I have heard in the past is that ET can sometimes feel too much like an 'academic old boy network', which puts off people who may feel less inclined to participate in that sort of vibe - and we definitely enjoy having participants that help us fight that impression by bringing a different perspective.
On somewhat related note, I definitely appreciate the incredible knowledge base of many of our writers, and have learned a tremendous amount in the areas of economics and energy. I personally tend to have much more interest in social sciences, culture, sports, arts, and humanities - as well as a genuine interest in building a sense of community - so I want to encourage those that help us enrich the diversity of topics broached. There will always be room for that in our community too, despite the strong focus on "wonky" issues.