Facebook and Journalism

From an ongoing discussion on a women journalists’ listserv, Marie T offered “a few observations from a middle-aged journalist about using social media as a professional tool.” They are:

  1. Journalists need to be involved in social media personally and professionally if we mean to understand our sources, our communities, and communication at any level. Social media are a prime distribution method in every medium. It just has to be done.
  2. The social media companies’ “privacy” rules are of the buyer-beware variety. The rules change. Often. You have no meaningful control. Companies have agreements with other companies who have their own rules when you install the applications. And few connections understand or share your wishes or expectations or priorities about privacy. Every communication is a live microphone.
  3. Making a source or a would-be source a “friend” on Facebook is not the same as someone being a personal friend. Professional and personal boundaries are blurring across the board. See observation No.1 about how important it is to follow sources online.

Thanks to Marie for allowing us to post!