During the clear out of Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday morning, some Associated Press staffers were swooped up with the arrests.
They did what most modern-day journalists would do: They Tweeted about it.
On Wednesday morning, the hammer fell: AP sent out a directive to staff: “In relation to AP staffbeing taken into custody at the Occupy Wall Street story, we’ve had a breakdown in staff sticking to policies around social media and everyone needs to get with their folks now to tell them to knock it off.”
Under AP’s rule book, reporters can’t Tweet what hasn’t moved across the wire: “Don’t break news that we haven’t published, no matter the format.”
Instead of getting “caught in the moment,” the AP’s freewheeling tweeters were urged in the e-mail to run “sensitive official AP business” through editors and corporate communications, New York magazine reported.
Many noted that this business model needs to be updated.
@journalistnate Absolutely agree. AP is taking a 1950s business model and applying it to the web, and these are the decisions that result.
I can’t tell you how often as a manager sitting in a news organization we’ve learned more on social media on a breaking news event – particularly Twitter – than we have on any news wire. (Or a TV for that matter).
The news wire really has to rethink its business model, and how it must perform to stay relevant.