News Organizations Implement New Social Media Ethics Policies
"Consult your editor before 'connecting' to or 'friending' any reporting contacts who may need to be treated as confidential sources. Openly "friending" sources is akin to publicly publishing your Rolodex.
"Let our coverage speak for itself, and don't detail how an article was reported, written or edited.
"Don't discuss articles that haven't been published, meetings you've attended or plan to attend with staff or sources, or interviews that you've conducted."
"This misses the chance to make their reporting collaborative. Of course, they should discuss how an article was made. Of course, they should talk about stories as they in progress. Net natives -- as WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch calls them -- understand this.
"Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. also provide the opportunity for reporters and editors to come out from behind the institutional voice of the paper -- a voice that is less and less trusted -- and to become human. Of course, they should mix business and pleasure. "
"The growing Twitter audience also attracted the attention of eBay's lawyers, who last month required Mr. Brewer-Hay to include regulatory disclaimers with certain posts. Some followers think the tougher oversight is squelching Mr. Brewer-Hay's spontaneous, informal style."
Sharlyn Lauby from Mashable.com also has outlined a process for companies considering implementing a social media policy. She cited five key questions that companies should consider:
- Why have such a policy?
- What can social media do for my organization?
- Who should the policy cover?
- Where should you let employees know about this policy?
- When is the right time to implement a policy?