An email (slightly edited) from a Digital First Media journalist last week raised a couple questions I hear frequently relating to social media:
I asked an important question at a staff meeting today, and the city editor suggested I e-mail you. It has to do with tweeting and/or posting opinions.
As a reporter (I know, you like the term journo), it is ingrained in me not to reflect my opinions. Last weekend, I scanned Twitter off and on and found many news outlets tweeting about the Occupy Oakland protest going on. A TV van was damaged, a flag burned at City Hall, etc.
My first impulse was to tweet my personal gut response: that I didn’t understand protests and flag burning in my generation and I don’t now. I also wanted to tweet that once Occupy got violent, that ended the argument for me.
But I had misgivings about whether I should post any kind of opinion at all, so I refrained.
So, is there a guideline about this? I thought about asking via Twitter, but obviously that wouldn’t work. (more…)