The Washington Post has imposed restrictions on its reporters’ and editors’ use of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. The Post’s ombudsman explained the policy last week.
The reaction? Swift and vehement disapproval. The Post is getting pounded from all corners of the blogosphere.
Time magazine’s James Poniewozik calls the policy “misguided.” The WashPost policy, he writes, “manages to get both social media and journalism wrong at the same time, and suggests that the newspaper is working hard to make itself as irrelevant as possible.”
The Wall Street Journal has also restricted its staff’s use of social media, which Poniewozik also criticized.
Please read these three articles and post your response. You can also read the Post’s policy in full on paidcontent.org, if you’re interested. If you find other good analyses of this issue, please post a link in the comments.
Some questions you might consider (but don’t answer them all):
- Should magazines and newspapers limit their journalists’ activity on social networks?
- Should reporters be tweeting?
- Are “old-guard” media refusing to acknowledge the power and influence of social networks at their peril, as Poniewozik argues?
- What ethical principles are at stake? (Refer to your SPJ Code of Ethics.)
Your responses should reflect that you have read the articles and are not merely responding to what classmates have said. MW class post by 8 p.m. Sunday. TR class post by 8 p.m. Monday. Late posts receive 0 points.
You should respond to at least three of your classmates’ posts. Keep your post and your comments brief. It’s a conversation, not an essay.