Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Facebook Ethics

Have you checked your Facebook today? Well, most likely the answer to that question is yes. In fact, you may be so hip that you just do it constantly because it's on your phone.

For some reporters it's a valuable communication tool. They use it to get story tips, search out folks or share facts with their viewers. This does not seem to be the case for all journalists as some fill their page with unprofessional personal opinion.

Peter Horrocks BBC Global News Director
- read up on his thoughts about embracing social media sites

The way I see it, it would be in the best interest of all news outlets to put pen to paper and prepare a code of ethics for social media. With help from the Poynter Institution ethics group leader Kelly McBride, the Virginia newspaper The Roanoke Times did just that.

Random side note.. in attempts to find out if KPAX has a code of ethics I stumbled across Jill Valleys blog and it made me think twice. To go through a fight with cancer would be so difficult in the first place, but to do it in front of all of Missoula county shows true colors.


  1. I think reporters just need to be careful what they post on Facebook, especially if it's there "reporter" Facebook and not their personal one. Even if it is on their personal one, they need to always keep in mind that their Facebook is open game to anyone that sees it.

  2. I think Facebook can be an extremely useful tool for any reporter. It is possible to utilize that tool in a professional manner, and if a reporter does otherwise the consequences are well-deserved. I also believe it's perfectly acceptable to have a personal page. Privacy settings are easily modified, allowing reporters to control the amount and type of personal information seen by the public. I have no sympathy for reporters who use social networking tools improperly.

  3. I think it's silly to have a reporter page and a personal page. We've talked many times in class about the fact that if you're a reporter you're in the public eye. Obviously everyone has opinions, and I'll be the first to admit that my Facebook page probably needs to be a little cleaned up, but if you have two pages I think it seems like you're hiding something. What is really so bad on your personal page that you can't have other people seeing it? If you wouldn't want your mom to see what you have on Facebook then don't put it on your page.

    I agree with Megan, privacy settings can be set so that people can't even write on your wall, so if you're that worried about it... change them.

    Also, Facebook is the number one driver of traffic to most websites, so if you're going to be using the internet at your job (hint: you are) you're probably going to be using Facebook.

  4. I agree Colette. I think Facebook is a valuable tool for journalists, but it seems deceptive to have a personal as well as a professional page. If you're in a position in the public eye, such as a journalist, and you are worried about what people may see online, you should be more careful about the content that you make available to them.