Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Social Media and Ethics

It is becoming an increasing problem in the workplace that journalists are using social media in a non-professional manner.

Such as on the social networking site, Twitter, where people can post their most random thoughts in 140 characters or less. The problem comes into play when journalists leak possible stories before their editors give the go ahead.  The statesman requires a logo on their twitter icon to show that they are associated with the paper. Journalists are representing their employer 24/7 on the Internet. Now, reporters’ most random thoughts are connected to their employer.

Facebook is also very popular with journalists. As reported on the Huffington post, and other news sources, Facebook is changing their “fan’ button to “like.” Though this is mainly for corporate purposes. It is a name change, and not a change in function the. Facebook feels like it will be easier for people to connect to corporate pages by liking them instead of being a fan of them. Becoming a “fan” implies loyalty, whereas “like” does not.

Through this change in simple terms, Facebook expects that more people will use the button – more people are inclined to Like a page or organization, rather than become a Fan. For a journalist it could imply bias if they are a fan of one organization, yet not another and could upset sources if they research a resource beforehand.

Huffington Post link 

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