WSJ Implements New Conduct Rules For Twitter

twitter_fail_whale.jpgSo it turns out that Twitter can be very helpful to journalists, whether they’re promoting their own work, seeking sources or just looking for what everyone is talking about. In fact, it’s the perfect way to find out what everyone’s talking about.

But it’s no surprise that media companies like News Corp. want to make sure their reporters remain unbiased and impartial even with social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter luring them over to the dark side. Yesterday, Wall Street Journal editor Alix Freedman sent an email to staffers outlining new conduct guidelines that specifically instruct reporters how to handle themselves on Twitter.

“Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter,” the guidelines said. “Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending.”

Can you imagine a reporter going to an editor to ask permission to Tweet something in particular? There are actually a number of Journalers that do Tweet regularly, and we’re curious how these new rules will effect them, if at all. Does this mean they’ll stop Tweeting links to their own articles?

One thing’s for sure, the new rules aren’t stopping anyone from Tweeting. Earlier today, WSJ Deputy Managing Editor Alan S. Murray added clarification to the rules via Twitter. “We’re encouraging people to use Twitter and Facebook. Just encouraging them to use some common sense when they do,” he tweeted.