Use an accuracy checklist before sending Twitter and Facebook updates

Zombie Journalism
TBD’s Mandy Jenkins has developed a newsroom checklist to keep social media mistakes to a minimum.

Jenkins acknowledges that errors happen in every newsroom, but suggests that asking key questions before posting information on Twitter or Facebook can help journalists take the medium more seriously. She focuses on 20 questions to ask before hitting “send.” While the list has a lot of common-sense questions, it’s nevertheless worth checking out and posting next to your computer.

It’s helpful to consider how core journalism values can be applied to something as seemingly simple as re-tweeting. On that topic, Jenkins writes:

“Is it clear why I want to share this tweet, or does it need context?
“Is this tweet reporting heretofore unknown information?
“If so, is this source reliable enough to throw your name behind?
“Is the original tweet written clearly enough to be passed on from me?”

Poynter.org had a chat about how to handle errors in tweets last week and plans to hold another one with Adrian Holovaty, who is interested in collaborating on a technological tool to correct tweets. The chat will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. ET.

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  • http://manjamedia.com Mandy Jenkins

    Thanks for highlighting the checklist. Social media is a part of most newsrooms’ processes these days, but it can be disregarded as a throwaway interaction when it comes to accuracy. I hope this helps others.