Associated Press publishes social media usage guidelines

How we should act on social networks has been a topic of interest for everyone in the newsroom, and apparently it has been for the Associated Press too. The AP has published a set of AP social media guidelines for journalists.

Some of the highlights:

  • Journalists should have accounts at the major social networking sites. “These sites are now an integral part of everyday life for millions of people around the world. They have become an essential tool for AP reporters to gather news and share links to our published work.”
  • The AP recommends having one account at each site that journalists use professionally and personally.
  • Journalists should identify themselves as members of the media somewhere in their personal profiles on the social networking site.
  • Don’t post political views and don’t post proprietary or confidential information.
  • Monitor your pages to make sure material posted by others doesn’t violate AP guidelines.
  • It is acceptable to friend or follow sources, but not to engage in behavior that indicates any sort of bias.

These are just a few of the guidelines. I encourage you to read them all when you get the chance — they’re not long.

For some response, check out journalism and social media consultant Steve Buttry’s post on the guidelines, which is pretty critical.