WSJ Social Media Policy
To address the issues of journalists using social media, The Wall Street Journal has issued a list of rules detailing “professional conduct” for their staff. Some of the rules follow (abridged):
- Never use a false name.
- Do not use family or friends to promote your work.
- Contact editor before networking with any contacts who may need to remain confidential.
- Don’t detail how an article was reported or created.
- Don’t discuss articles yet to be published.
- Do not engage in inappropriate dialogue.
- Separate work from pleasure.
Visit Editor and Publisher for the full list of rules.
Journalism professor Jeff Jarvis responded critically.
This misses the chance to make their reporting collaborative. Of course, they should discuss how an article was made. Of course, they should talk about stories as they in progress. Net natives – as WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch calls them – understand this.
Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. also provide the opportunity for reporters and editors to come out from behind the institutional voice of the paper – a voice that is less and less trusted – and to become human. Of course, they should mix business and pleasure.