It must be tough to be in the traditional journalism field. Us tech bloggers have cut our teeth on social media, making mistakes and learning the ropes as we grew. But traditional journalists have had it tougher when it comes to social: they have big brother Associated Press telling them what to tweet and what not to tweet.
It’s all in the name of journalistic integrity, of course, but it must be tough for journalists to keep up with the policy changes over at the AP. Today’s change to their social media guidelines marks the third in the past year.
And wouldn’t you know it: it’s Twitter that’s causing all the ruckus.
The first major update in July was generic, encouraging journalists to use social media to share their stories and gather information.
In November, the AP caused quite a stir when they updated their social media guidelines again, this time outlining what some perceived as odd ways to attribute retweets to the original tweeter while maintaining distance from the opinion expressed therein.
And today, they’ve updated their guidelines again, this time describing how journalists should handle errors in their tweeting.
The guidelines explain that when correcting a tweet that is found to be erroneous, journalists should tweet that the had made a mistake and explain what was wrong. They should seek professional guidance before deleting a tweet, as it might have been retweeted or posted around the web.
This is sound advice from an organization that is clearly trying to adapt to a fast-paced change in how journalists communicate with each other, their sources, and their readers. And, admitting to an erroneous tweet is good advice for non-journalists as well.
You can read the AP’s revised social media guidelines here.