10 BEST PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Best practice guidelines or editorscrating social media policies
Executive summary –
Social media platorms continue to emerge as essential newsgathering tools. Tese mediums oer exciting opportunities orreporters to collect inormation and or news organizations to expand the reach o their content, but they also carry challengesand risks. Putting in place overly draconian rules discourages creativity and innovation, but allowing an uncontrolled ree-or-all opens the oodgates to problems and leaves news organizations responsible or irresponsible employees. We oer these guidelines as a ramework to help editors orm their own policies. We reviewed publicly available social media policies or mainstream news organizations and several others sent to us by ASNEmembers. An appendix at the end o this report includes the ull text o what was collected. We identied 10 best-practicethemes at the heart o the best policies.Each theme gets its own page here, with a brie explanation o why it’s included, a “teachable moment,” and excerpts romsocial media guidelines released by news organizations that have been leading the way.Here are the 10 key takeaways:1. raditional ethics rules still apply online.2. Assume everything you write online will become public.3. Use social media to engage with readers, but proessionally.4. Break news on your website, not on witter.5. Beware o perceptions.6. Independently authenticate anything ound on a social networking site.7. Always identiy yoursel as a journalist.8. Social networks are tools not toys.9. Be transparent and admit when you’re wrong online.10. Keep internal deliberations condential.
tHis PaPer Was researcHed and Written By James HoHmann of Politico for tHe2010-11 asne etHics and values committee, Working WitH co-cHairs Pam fine,knigHt cHair in neWs, leadersHiP and community, tHe university of kansasscHool of Journalism and mass communication; JoHn Harris, editor-in-cHief,Politico; and committee memBer frank BarroWs, Queens university of cHarlotte,cHarlotte, n.c.