by Dan Ward
Thanks to Tameka Kee at paidContent.com for the news about Dow Jones’ new list of rules for professional conduct, which now include rules for journalists’ use of social media.
The full list of rules available from Editor & Publisher includes common sense guidelines (“Never misrepresent yourself using a false name”) but also includes “gray area” recommendations that could be controversial, especially if other news organizations follow suit.
For instance, the guidelines state that “business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter.” There are hundreds of journalists on Twitter that already are mixing business and pleasure, tweeting not just about articles they’ve written and information they’re trying to find, but also their thoughts on sporting events, restaurants, movies, etc.
Is that any different from having lunch with a source and sharing personal information as part of building a relationship? If a journalist hosts a “Tweet up” and sources attend along with personal friends, does that qualify as a violation?
I don’t profess to know the answers, but I’m sure these rules will lead to many more questions.