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#Tip: Social media guidelines for journalists

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

How much of a say should news outlets have over what their journalists post on social media?

If you’re in the process of putting together a set of social media guidelines for your company or are simply curious, take a look at this a list of social media guidelines from international news organisations including the BBC, Associated Press and Reuters.

The list was curated by Kelly Fincham, a journalism professor at Hofstra University in New York, who has also annotated each set of guidelines with a brief comment: “Exhaustive and excellent – particularly on retweets” (AP), “Must for aspiring sports journos” (ESPN), and, “In a nutshell: Don’t be stupid (BBC).

Hat tip to Marc Settle, project producer at the BBC College of Journalism, who tweeted about this list.

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Samaritans to produce fact sheet for journalists on reporting suicide cases

February 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

A fact sheet for journalists, which will guide journalists on working with families after a suicide is to be produced later this year by Samaritans.

The charity is currently revising its media guidelines to include a section on new media and other issues raised in recent years.

Press and PR manager Sal Lalji told that the fact sheet will act as a “guide for journalists on dealing with families in the aftermath of suicide”, and the charity’s media guidelines have been produced in partnership with the Irish Association of Suicidology.

She added that the charity has consulted with different family groups, journalists and other experts.

Generally we felt that over the last few years the media are coming to us more and more and we have built very good relationships with almost every national, and also regionally and [with] broadcast.

Everybody does seem to be more willing to come to us and talk to us about coverage of suicide and subjects in that nature, to get advice on the best way to report. As a result of that we’ve developed the advice and guidance we give out and decided it would be better to re-do the guidelines based on the learnings we’ve had over the past few years.

You can hear more from Sal in this week’s podcast along with advice for journalists reporting on suicide.

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Twitter clarifies guideline on tweet screenshots

On Friday, Twitter announced its new look as well as some updated guidelines. There was one guideline in particular that raised questions for online publishers.

Don’t: Use screenshots of other people’s profiles or Tweets without their permission.

But following requests from for clarification, Twitter indicated that these rules are not aimed at the news media, in print or online.

This isn’t a new part of the policy and was stated in the guidelines before. This serves primarily to protect users from their tweets being used as endorsements without their knowledge. Public tweets are public. But if you’re going to use tweets in static form (e.g. in a publication), you should have permission from the author/user. For instance, if someone famous were to tweet about liking something and then it was used on a billboard.

This doesn’t apply to broadcast — there are separate display guidelines about that. Our policies also don’t attempt to control the appropriate use of tweets in news reporting.

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#Tip of the day from – editorial guidelines

The BBC’s new editorial guidelines may be a useful point of reference for journalists outside the corporation also, especially their guidance on the use of content from social media and user generated material. Tipster: Rachel McAthy.

To submit a tip to, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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US group releases draft guidelines for online content syndication

August 12th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism
A group of online content syndicators including the Associated Press, Reuters, Tribune Company and CBS has released a proposed set of guidelines for content syndication, according to a report from MediaWeek.

The Internet Content Syndication Council began considering the guidelines at the beginning of July.

The guidelines are aimed at countering the effect that the group sees as a growing and dangerous trend on the web – the rise of shoddy, poorly-sourced and edited content, often produced solely with gaming search engines in mind.

The proposed guidelines will now be open to review by its membership and the wider online media industry.

Full post at this link…

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