WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 21.10.2014


social media policy

A few days ago, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson switched the name of his official Twitter account @MayorofLondon to @Boris Johnson, just at the start of the formal election period and his re-election campaign. This provoked heated accusations that he had hijacked the official account by transferring the 253,144 followers tracking the activities of the London mayor's office to his re-election campaign, reported the Guardian.

In fact, when someone changes his or her Twitter handle (the @name associated with the account), all the other profile information – followers and following – remains the same.

The electoral debate aside, the Guardian took the opportunity to reflect on the nature of social media identities and the “ownership” of journalists’ Twitter accounts.

The case have some journalistic precedents for example the episode when Laura Kuenssberg, formerly the BBC’s chief political correspondent, moved to become ITV business editor, and transferred her 60,000 followers to her new account.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-03-22 18:20

You've got a scoop, do you tweet it or not?

As a journalist, your news organization might well have a social media policy which doesn't allow you to do it.

On February 7 Sky News sent an email to staff drawing up new social media guidelines. As the Guardian reported, journalists have been told they are banned from retweeting information from any non-Sky employee. The new guidelines include a warn for journalists to stick to their own beat and to the stories they've been assigned to. "Don't tweet when it's someone else's story. Stick to your own beat. Always pass breaking news lines to the news desk before posting them on social media networks" the mail says, according to the Guardian.
It also added: "Where a story has been tweeted by a Sky News journalist who is assigned to the story it is fine, desirable in fact, that it is retweeted by other Sky News staff. Do not retweet information posted by other journalists or people on Twitter. Such information could be wrong and has not been through the Sky News editorial process."

The debate has spread fast on the web and, of course, on Twitter.

The Guardian reported the view of the broadcast journalists who took the new guidelines as a "retrograde step" for a news organization that has been known for being innovative in its use of social media (for example in the way they used Twitter to break news on events from the England riots to the Arab Spring).

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-02-09 19:09

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