Tuesday’s discussion about the New Haven Independent’s reporting of the Annie Le case raised a number of complex issues about the use of social media in reporting.
Tomorrow, Jake Sherlock will push that conversation forward with some discussion of how social media have been/are being used to do journalism. Then we’ll talk about the ethical guidelines some newsrooms have developed to help their staffs navigate these tricky waters.
There are at least two distinct areas of concern, as far as I can tell: how journalists use social media to talk to/listen to/dialogue with their communities and “brand” themselves, their work, their point of view, etc.; and then there’s the area we delved deeply into on Tuesday, related to how journalists use social media to gather information.
Jake and I looked around for guidance and found that the Roanoke Times, my old employer in Virginia, has some of the most complete guidelines around (click on the link under heading “online policies,” and then “social networking tools in reporting”). Read this section before tomorrow morning at 9:30.
What would a Missourian/Vox social media ethics policy look like? Judging by our Tuesday discussion, can these decisions be left to individual judgment? Or do we need a detailed policy?
I’m eager to hear what you think.