Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Statement of Purpose & Ethics

Last updated June 18, 2014.
Over the past three years the research methods, style of presentation and integrity of Cardfight Pro as a publication have undergone dramatic transformative revisions that stretch the limits of what can be defined as a web log. Although statements have been made in the past regarding the general direction and purpose of Cardfight Pro as an organization, there has never before been a single defining document which outlines the goals, methods and ethics it answers to. In light of recent events, it is the view of the head editor that such a document, testifying the will of the organization and the responsibilities of its editors, is called for.

Cardfight Pro maintains that it is not in fact a blog, but is a journalistic resource of integrity that is also hosted on Blogger and makes use of its features. It is generally recognized as a reputable source by the global community of cardfighters, and handles a certain responsibility of disseminating information about the progression of the game across the world, with special attention given to professional play. In absence of other uncensored and unbiased publications independent of Bushiroad Inc. and its related companies, the weight of that responsibility to report professionally and in a trustworthy manner to the general public is severe.

We recognize a special right of the public to be informed and a right of the individual to inform. Even when the truth is painful, it must be pursued. That is not just the right of journalists, but our obligation to the next generation; the community of cardfighters owe to its successors an explanation of why and how we can come to do terrible things. When a chance at absolute truth is present, it must be taken. This process of handing information down among generations of people is a defining feature of human cognition, and through it the praxis of journalism may be considered a form of fuller humanization of those involved. We recognize that truth and transparency will beget deeper understanding of one another.

Journalistic Ethics
Websites hosted by Blogger and their associated writers are not presently afforded the protection of state-specific shield laws within the United States of America unless sufficient professionalism is demonstrated; what constitutes professionalism is not clearly established, and there is no nationwide recognition of bloggers as journalists. This much we acknowledge. However, the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics defines and provides guidelines for the field of journalism as a practice. Journalism is a self-recognizing field wherein a journalist is defined by their recognition among other journalists. Academic degrees, the presence of a publisher or the titles associated with any particular company position are irrelevant in this matter. A journalist is made when journalism is practiced, when the truth is pursued through conscientious reporting and voice is given to the voiceless. Those who act according to the Code of Ethics are journalists, and any individual can be a journalist with or without a publication; to arbitrarily restrict that privilege based on the possession of a print platform is to be counter to the very principles of the field and to obstruct free speech.

With or without recognition as a journalistic resource, Cardfight Pro recognizes and abides by the SPJ Code of Ethics to the best of its journalists' abilities. The full scope of the SPJ is available online, but the premises of it and how they affect Cardfight Pro are outlined below in a condensed list. Due to the nature of the Code, it is not and cannot be made legally binding. The Code transcends all legal systems and extends as an international master work of ethics under which each journalist is to interpret independently. Failure to comply with the Code has no legal ramifications, but due to the trust-based nature of journalism it is impossible to work in the field without observing it, as job security, the reliability and bartering of information, promises to sources, and guarantees of anonymity all rely on observance of the Code.

Through abiding the Code, Cardfight Pro promises to:
-Publish information only if it has been validated to the best of our ability, and believed to be reliable. Rumor and hearsay will be clearly labeled or not published at all.
-Pursue both the objective and humane realities surrounding current and past events, providing an opportunity for dialogue among the public on key issues and for individuals to be represented.
-Identify sources where possible, and protect those sources who must be protected.
-Keep promises.
-Not falsify or distort the facts.
-Avoid advertorial and subservience to corporate interests. Uninhibited advertorial will never be permissible on Cardfight Pro, and private interest will never write or buy the news.
-Question the motives of companies as much as those of private individuals are, and never become slaves to hit count.
-Promote transparency between all parties.
-Never plagiarize.
-Seek and fight for the truth even where it is unpopular to do so.
-Break stereotypes and promote understanding of subjects as people, accepting views in conflict with those of the editors.
-Treat victims with compassion and tact.
-Avoid dramatizing personal tragedies.
-Not report harmfully, except where both necessary and unavoidable.
-Weigh carefully the public right to information and the right of private individuals to privacy, and act in balance to these principles.

Kindness, empathy, ruthlessness and antipathy are tools; these qualities should not obstruct the truth, but assist it. In like, advertisers and sponsorship are necessary evils which support journalism, but are never pillars of it. If it does not support the pursuit of an objective and humane truth, it has no place in Cardfight Pro.

Loyalties & Goals
Cardfight Pro recognizes the following charges of it as a publication;
-To uphold the ideals of Akira Ito in cultivating a safe environment for both children and adults to play, compete and interact together.
-To promote and support a professional community of cardfighters in cultivating their careers with integrity and dignity around the world.
-To pursue the truth as it is owed to the public, even at the risk of personal endangerment.
In informing the public on the actions of pros, we recognize that even casual fighters that play for fun can learn and use the techniques developed in the course of professional Cardfight. We also duly recognize the potential conflict of interests between the company and the community, the internal elements of Bushiroad, the visionaries and technicians, and between the fundamental artistic pursuits of what the game should be as envisioned by its many authors versus the practical reality of how it is implemented and is under the established system. Where Ito and Bushiroad conflict, it is our choice to side with Ito.

Therefore, our first loyalty is to Akira Ito and the art of the game and our second loyalty is to the player base. Nowhere within this does Bushiroad Inc. nor any other corporate body have direct influence or control over the publication. The actions of Cardfight Pro International as a journalistic body must always be in harmony with these ideals. The betterment of the community, the individual growth of veteran cardfighters as well as newcomers, and the artistic vision of Ito must each be respected by CFPro as an organization. Whosoever holds the chair of head editor must never compromise one principle for the other, nor attempt to subvert these ideals for his or her own personal gain, nor yield to attacks on these ideals. Cardfight!! Vanguard is a game which brings people together; and Cardfight Pro should do the same.