Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sky and BBC rollout new social media policies

It's often said that News International don't get the Internet, the latest sign of which seems to be an odd social media policy that Sky News have rolled out to their journalists which forbids them from re-tweeting information from non company employees on Twitter, something that goes against all of what Twitter is about.

In an e-mail to their journalists, Sky News explained their rationale behind the new policy:
"Where a story has been Tweeted by a Sky News journalist who is assigned to the story it is fine, desirable in fact, that it is retweeted by other Sky News staff. Do not retweet information posted by other journalists or people on Twitter. Such information could be wrong and has not been through the Sky News editorial process."
Naturally the journalists are not pleased about the clueless new policy, with an unnamed staffer telling the Financial Times:
"(How) can we expect other journalists to distribute our scoops if they know we are never going to do the same in return? It just goes against everything Twitter does, everything that has made it such an incredible tool for journalists."
The BBC have also updated their social media guidance, but much less controversially in their case.

Highlighting their new policy is the guidance that journalists need to file breaking news with the BBC's newsroom before they put them on Twitter, enabling the Beeb to disseminate them through multiple corporation channels immediately and not just to those that follow their journalists on Twitter.

BBC social media editor Chris Hamilton:
"Being quick off the mark with breaking news is essential to that mission. But we've been clear that our first priority remains ensuring that important information reaches BBC colleagues, and thus all our audiences, as quickly as possible – and certainly not after it reaches Twitter."