Monday, September 28

Learn to use Twitter & Facebook-- & the ethical implications

Learn to use Twitter & Facebook—and no matter what tools you are using or how you are communicating with an audience, ACCURACY is the cornerstone for ethics in journalism.

WKYC-TV journalist Eric Mansfield posed a rhetorical question to the students attending a journalism ethics workshop wondering how many of them wanted to get a job after graduating college. Then he told them they better learn how to use Facebook and Twitter.

Mansfield joined other journalists and media ethics experts at the 2009 Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop to discuss what values journalism will carry over from traditional media as the evolving model of news continues to change shape.

I brought along 10 Westminster College students from BC 311/Broadcast Journalism to join other students, faculty, professionals and ethics experts in attendance at the national conference featuring online journalists. Those students agreed the most compelling session came in the afternoon during the panel discussion called "When the News Finds You Through Social Media."

The conference advanced the ethics discussion concerning online journalism in a gathering called “What Values?” bringing together faculty, students andprofessionals. While sticky ethical issues came up concerning how journalists pull images, video and information from Facebook, MySpace and weblogs to using

Twitter for story ideas and news tips, all the experts kept brining the issue back to accuracy and credibility.

Rubber City Radio Vice President of Media Ed Esposito stress it was important to get the story right. He stated no one will remember who got it first if they don’t get it correct.

He pointed out only media insiders brag about who’s first because in an age where immediacy is no longer owned by broadcast outlets being accurate is paramount and the utmost important issue when it comes to driving ethics in any newsroom.


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