The Guardian has published a set of blogging and commenting guidelines for its journalists.

The eight guidelines offer advice on "best practice" for Guardian journalists and writers when blogging for the site or responding to comments on

How to deal with disruptive commenters, balancing fact and opinion and how to encourage readers to contribute are all covered in the advisory.

"Link to sources for facts or statements you reference, and encourage others to do likewise," say the current guidelines.

The Guardian already has extensive guidelines for users of its website, who participate in forums and comment threads. In 2008 then director of digital for Guardian News and Media Emily Bell told that the site was mulling online participation guidelines for its journalists.

Several other mainstream news organisations have issued social media guidelines for staff in recent months. Last week the BBC updated its editorial policy guidelines to incorporate user-generated content and social media use by its journalists.

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