AFP’s Guidelines for Journalists Using Social Media

After a period of internal discussion (disclosure: of which I played a tiny role by taking part in a conference call to discuss an earlier draft), AFP has published its guidelines for journalists’ use of social media. You will recall that earlier this year, the agency published its guidelines for the use of content published on social networks.

The full text of the guidelines are below, but I’ve just excerpted some notable points (with emphasis added by me) — please share your thoughts in the comments section or drop me a line:

Two overarching  principles should govern online activity by AFP journalists, whether on social networks or other online forums, even if personal accounts are being used. All content should:

  • Broadly conform with the spirit of the AFP stylebook, the ethical values of the agency and its guiding principles of fairness and balance.  Even if a freer tone is permitted on social networking sites, no profane or offensive language should be used.
  • Respect the independence and impartiality of AFP.
3) What to post online?
  • Journalists should not post online any exclusive information gained in the course of their work for AFP or any alerts. They can post any observations, colour or anecdotes while will help them to build up a network of followers.
  • The AFP wire and AFP Live Reports must remain the priority for AFP journalists covering breaking news. No AFP journalist should post or tweet developing news stories they are covering, UNLESS they have the explicit written authority from the regional or central redchef.
  • If an AFP journalist mistakenly tweets or posts incorrect information, then it is important that a correction is published.
4) Posting or tweeting AFP content
  • All AFP journalists should avoid publishing AFP alerts or breaking news on social networks, even with a time delay.
  • Where possible, links to AFP content should go to AFP’s Facebook, YouTube or Daily Motion sites and through client websites.
The full guidelines:

Related posts:

  1. AFP Social Media Guidelines
  2. Google+ for Journalists — A Primer
  3. Facebook in the Frontline (Part I)
  4. Building up a Tumblr
  5. AFP Journalists on Twitter
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