AP promises members it won’t break news on social media

Associated Press
At the Associated Press Media Editors confab in Nashville, Tenn., AP Executive Editor and Senior Vice President Kathleen Carroll promised the service’s users it wouldn’t scoop them:

“You all pay us a chunk of change to break news to you, and so we do,” she said. “And once it’s broken to you, we promote it on the social networks.”

This isn’t a new policy for the news co-op: Last year it admonished staffers who tweeted about the arrest of an AP reporter and photographer at an Occupy protest before the news hit the wire. It’s the first time I’ve heard it expressed in business terms, though.

Also at the conference, Journatic CEO Brian Timpone told a room of Twittering reporters “I don’t mind being the punching bag for change.” (One comedian took a photo of Journatic’s empty booth and wondered if its staffers were in the Philippines.)

Erik Schelzig reports AP political editor Liz Sidoti “said the AP and other news organizations remain committed to fact-checking the candidates.” I have every confidence this excludes the sort of research that wound up in its weird piece on Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Committee.

Related: AP adds new social media guidelines on live-tweeting, friending/following sources | AP issues staff guidelines on retweets, no ‘personal opinions’ allowed or implied | AP updates social media guidelines a week after warning staffers about expressing opinions | Memo: Departure of AP’s social media editor unrelated to new guidelines

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  • http://twitter.com/ProducerMatthew Matthew Keys

    It’s a tough call to make, especially when you’re in the news of selling the news to the people who sell the news to the general news consumer.

    When it comes to breaking news, we don’t “beat the wire” so to say, in that we won’t typically break news on our social platforms before we move it on the wire. Once it’s on the wire, though, it’s fair game, and we’ll usually get it out on our platforms within seconds. Some circumstances will create exceptions to this rule, so it’s almost always a judgment call, and our policy will evolve with the times.