Update: I’m too busy to add the exchange between Jeff Jarvis and Tim O’Brien of the New York Times or update responses from Alan Murray, but I recommend following them if you’re interested in this issue. I may add the continuing exchange later.
For now I will add and endorse this view from John Robinson, editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and one of the most Twitter-savvy (and web-savvy) editors in the business: “Twitter rules: I trust the staff to report the news. Shouldn’t I trust them enough to tweet? Is twitter that much harder than reporting?”
WSJ Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor Online (now there’s a title!) Alan Murray and Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? (highly recommended reading) are having an interesting exchange about the rules on Twitter:
Jarvis fired the first salvo: Somebody at The Wall Street Journal should tell Sherman to stop the Wayback Machine before it’s too late.
Murray responded: What’s your beef today, Jeff?
Jarvis: the wsj twitter and interactivity rules that cut off openness & collaboration, since you asked.
Murray: We’re encouraging people to use Twitter and Facebook. Just encouraging them to use some common sense when they do.
Jarvis: Yes but isn’t the 1 rule: Don’t be stupid? Telling them not to discuss ongoing stories cuts off collaboration. Nose/spite/face
At this point, Murray either stopped firing (perhaps inhibited by the rule about letting coverage speak for itself (does that apply to rules that don’t speak very well for themselves?) or the don’t engage in “impolite dialogue” (though this is polite, just pointed, in my view) rule. Or maybe his fire has just been delayed (perhaps checking with an editor because it’s controversial?). But Jarvis had more to say: There’s a new definition of common sense.
And more: Why not ask twitterers – starting with your own – to suggest common-sense rules?
Still more (140-character limit per tweet, you know): Wouldn’t the better memo have been to brainstorm all the new ways to do journalism via Twitter & Facebook – openly?
Nothing more from Murray, but Jarvis is waiting out an air-traffic delay, so he might not be finished. (No answer yet to my emails to WSJ editors inviting comment.)
This just in: No sooner did I write that and post than Murray returned tweet: I’m wondering: Have you read the memo? What part of it do you find so objectionable?
Will update if the exchange continues. No offense, Jeff, but I’m hoping for a bit more of a flight delay.