The social web can be harsh on the socially feckless. It is essential that those with a sizable internet audience - even if an unintended, uninvited one - possess a reasonable amount of savoir-faire. The Washington Post will not be assessing its editorial staff’s innate social skills, though.
It has come up with a new set of guidelines that are aimed at curbing its employees’ cyber capers and harangues. The Post hopes that its new internal guideline for using social networks will prevent the Tweets and Facebook wall posts of its staff from having a bearing on its content. The Milton Coleman, a senior editor at the paper, is said to have prepared the guidelines.
“When using these networks, nothing we do must call into question the impartiality of our news judgment. We never abandon the guidelines that govern the separation of news from opinion, the importance of fact and objectivity, the appropriate use of language and tone, and other hallmarks of our brand of journalism,” Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli wrote in a staff note.
The paper has advised journalists against “tweeting or posting anything – including photographs or video – that could be perceived as reflecting political racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism that could be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility.”
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