Another month, another firestorm over a poorly thought out social media policy from a massive media company. This time, it’s Sky News that’s made a misstep.
I think Reuters social media editor Anthony De Rosa is spot on in his assessment of assessment of the failings of the new social media policy advanced by Sky News: it’s longing for a return to the Victorian Internet
Cory Bergman nailed why it’s OK for journalists to be human on Twitter and Mathew Ingram, as usual, offered his usual common sense analysis of what makes sense, in context. (
Where I think Anthony knocks it out of the park, however, is with respect to the professional rationale for retweeting other accounts: “The idea here at Reuters when it comes to social media is to be the beacon for all news, which makes us the go-to source, no matter what the source may be, after being put through our own filters of verification.”
If you’re on a beat, you want to be THE source for news on it. Generally, that means you’ll get beaten on being first to a story. No worries: RT them, then blog it, and link in articles. Over time, people (and algorithms) will value you for that work.
Any entity that distributes content online — whether they’re in the media, government, academia, nonprofit or other organizations, needs to be thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) in 2012. Any policies that force journalists into internal silos will eviscerate that capability.
A RT is social media currency. Instructing journalists not to give them out where deserved is like sending them into a conflict or disaster zone with no funds for a fixer, fuel or food. It’s not just bad form. It’s bad business.