Reuters released their new social media policy for their Reporting from the Internet handbook. One rule in their “Twitter policy” section addressed posting breaking news tidbits on Twitter–which would threaten the news services’ grip on scoops.
Can I break news via Twitter?
As with blogging within Reuters News, you should make sure that if you have hard news content that it is broken first via the wire. Don’t scoop the wire. NB this does not apply if you are ‘retweeting’ (re-publishing) someone else’s scoop.
Although some reporters use Twitter as a reporting tool, a way to tease scoops and perhaps gather more information from their followers. One early tweet about the David Paterson/New York Times piece seemed to blast off into the media’s fake news cycle.
Dean Wright, Reuters’ global editor of ethics, innovation and news standards, wrote that the overall guidelines “encourage the use of social media approaches in Reuters journalism.”
He adds in a post on Reuters.com:
- Accuracy, freedom from bias and independence are fundamental to our reputation. These values and the Trust Principles apply to journalism produced using social media just as they have to all other journalism produced by Reuters.
- A distinguishing feature of Reuters is the trust invested in its journalists to rise above personal biases in their work and to apply common sense in dealing with the challenges offered by social media.
This last point is particularly important to me.
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