Fri - 19.01.2018

Reuters adds social media rules to its handbook

Reuters adds social media rules to its handbook

The surge in social media has benefited journalists globally by offering them a world of information at their fingertips with powerful social networking tools and news aggregator sites. But this opportunity comes along with some risks as well. To lessen these risks, Reuters has added social media guidelines and principles to its handbook, Dean Wright, global editor for ethics, innovation and news standards at Reuters, announced yesterday in the Reuters Blog.

While Reuters embraces social media as a powerful informative tool and encourages its usage among journalists, they must ask permission from managers to use social media in conjunction with their professional lives, MediaGuardian reported.

The guidelines are now a part of the news agency's advice on "Reporting from the Internet," which include rules on avoiding biased approaches, making sure to always introduce oneself as a Reuters journalist, to not reveal sources and to be extra careful while publicly "following" or becoming "friends." Scoops are also not supposed to be tweeted if Reuters wishes to post the news on the wires first, according to MediaGuardian. Stressing on the importance of journalistic ethics, the guidelines recommend Reuters journalists set up a professional account in addition to their personal account, to avoid unification of personal and professional lives, thereby establishing a divide between the two.

The social media guidelines do not sound or read like editorial guidelines, but rather like an instruction manual to aid journalists in the world of social media, MediaGuardian commented.

Wright pointed out that the new guidelines and the Reuters Handbook of Journalism is a living document that adapts to the world's changes.

"Some news organizations have been more proscriptive with their rules or guidelines for journalists using social media - and it's tempting to provide the rule-hungry with specific latitudes and longitudes of what's acceptable," he wrote. "But I think that approach sells short the ability of journalists to use their brains and to see-and report on-a world that's changing every day."


Savita Sauvin


2010-03-11 23:33

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