The Oregonian appears likely to join the long list of newsrooms with misguided social media policies.
Caitlin Johnson reports in AJR that the Oregonian is planning to restrict how its staff members can retweet:
Editors at Portland’s Oregonian are in the process of finalizing a set of guidelines for Twitter, which will include a specific section on retweeting. The new rules will urge reporters to assume any retweet is seen as an endorsement, not just passing something along, Editor Peter Bhatia says.
“Journalists in the mainstream have long understood that our chosen field requires special care in how we interact publically,” Bhatia says. “I don’t see this as any different than the limits most journalistic organizations ask of its journalists in the way they engage in partisan politics or political speech.”
I like the Oregonian and respect its long record of outstanding journalism. Peter Bhatia is a friend. When I worked at the American Press Institute, he was on the board, and we chatted frequently at board meetings. The Oregonian hosted the pilot seminar in 2005 of a series of ethics seminars I later presented in a dozen newsrooms around the country. We have chatted at other conferences and have conferred about career opportunities. I value his friendship and don’t criticize him lightly. But he’s mistaken about this. (more…)