A revision of the Star's newsroom Policy and Journalistic Standards has been approved by thepublisher and editor, and will be disseminated in a week or two after final editing. Given theexercise in democracy that's under way, it was decided to inform you now of the new passageon social media, which goes into effect immediately. The gist is that our overall standards of fairness, balance and impartiality apply on social media. As with all policies, if you have anydoubt, you should consult your department head or someone in senior management.Here is the new media passage:SOCIAL MEDIASocial media tools such as blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can be valuable sources for story ideas and contacts for journalists, and as a means of connecting directly with thecommunities we cover.The Star encourages journalists – reporters, columnists, photographers and editors – to takeadvantage of social media tools in their daily work.These tools blur the line between public and private activity – in fact, that is one of their mainbenefits – so it is important to understand that the information published on any social mediaplatform can be circulated beyond their intended audience. Anything a Star journalist posts onsocial media sites reflects on the writer and the Star in the same way any other published workdoes.Building trust in the digital world demands that the Star is seen to be transparent. Whenreporting breaking news through social media, the source of the information should be includedand readers must be told if the information has not yet been verified by the Star. If suchinformation is subsequently found to be inaccurate, that should be communicated through thosesame social media tools as soon as possible.All of the standards and responsibilities of Star journalists outlined elsewhere in this policy guidealso apply to social media platforms.Never post information on social media that could undermine your credibility with the public or damage the Star’s reputation in any way, including as an impartial source of news. Suchpostings could be construed by readers as evidence that the Star’s news coverage is biased.Remember, readers will hold the Star responsible for its staff participation in social media.Anything published on social media – whether on Star sites or personal platforms – cannotreveal information about content in development, newsroom issues or Star sources. Negativecommentary about your colleagues or workplace will not be tolerated.If you have doubts, check with a senior editor before posting.