ideas / industry news / management

RTNDA's social media guidelines

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Via Al Tompkins at Poynter, here are the guidelines for social media as proposed by the Radio and Television News Director’s Association.

College journalists should perhaps pay special attention to this one:

• Avoid posting photos or any other content on any website, blog, social network or video/photo sharing website that might embarrass you or undermine your journalistic credibility. Keep this in mind, even if you are posting on what you believe to be a “private” or password-protected site. Consider this when allowing others to take pictures of you at social gatherings. When you work for a journalism organization, you represent that organization on and off the clock. The same standards apply for journalists who work on air or off air.

A few weeks ago at the Canadian University Press Conference, I made this point during a session on social media. If you don’t want anything to embarrass you, don’t put it on the Internet, or share it via cellphone. At all. In these days of ubiquitous cell phone cameras, it’s almost impossible to control all access to something that might be embarrassing. If someone feels that they do want to share photos of themselves, they should use a personal account with controlled access. Even then, a photo could be “leaked” through other people who have access.

This is another handy set of guidelines to refer to when your media outlet is compiling social media guidelines.

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