It was at the Journalism That Matters unconference in Washington, DC when the Washington News Council‘s John Hamer realized that the words Transparency, Accountability, Openness spelled TAO and deserve to be displayed proudly by those who demonstrate these basic ethical principles.

The TAO of Journalism seal was born, and has since been endorsed by the Journalism Education Association and carried by Seattle publishers such as B-Town Blog, Common Language Project, and Fremocentrist. It’s being adopted by national journalism figures such as David Cohn at Spot.us, Tom Stites of the Banyan Project, and Rhonda Roland Shearer of Stinky Journalism and has recently been featured by MediaBistro.

The staff of the Washington News Council presented these developments to the public on May 2, 2011 and took in suggestions for ways to extend the adoption of the TAO seal and spread it’s message.