Tag Archives: Associated Press

The ethics of using user-generated content

While social media platforms have vastly increased the speed by which a reader can submit content, an ONA ethics panel agreed that traditional verification of sources is more important than ever.

During a panel of the Ethics the Community Newsroom, Jennifer Preston of the New York Times pointed out that her paper has been publishing user-generated content for centuries – in the form of letters to the editor from readers.

User-generated content (UGC) is not new, but the need for verification is more important than ever before, Preston said.

Fergus Bell, Senior Producer and Digital Newsgatherer for the Associated Press in London said that when he finds content he’d like to put out on the AP wire, he has a system of sourcing and verification that includes:

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ONA’s Social media debate: Best practices vs. bad habits

This was a great debate at the Online News Association conference. Rather than try to sum it up, I decided to post as a Q&A.

Panel members included:

Eric Carvin, Social Media Editor, Associated Press
Liz Heron, Director of Social Media, Wall Street Journal
Niketa Patel, Social Media PM, CNN
Anthony De Rosa, Social Media Editor and columnist, Reuters

Q: Liking people and organizations on Facebook – does the terminology need to be changed?

Heron: I don’t get too hung up on it. I don’t see liking as a personal endorsement, people aren’t going to think you’re endorsing that person

Patel:– Should be following people who have the same beat, and follow as many people as you can

Carvin: :At AP, we recommend that journalists follow opponents of a candidate as well as original candidate

De Rosa: I think you have to have common sense, don’t go out of your way to stray from perception

Heron: It allows for more transparency, allows for more scrutinty and bias, but it’s worth it to be out there and more available to people

Q: When is it appropriate to be tweeting/sharing unconfirmed reports?

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AP proves the business model of a news wire needs updating

  1. During the clear out of Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday morning, some Associated Press staffers were swooped up with the arrests.
  2. They did what most modern-day journalists would do: They Tweeted about it.
  3. 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.”

A policy for social media

Newsrooms wrestle with how to be social in forums like Facebook and Twitter, while retaining a reputation to objectivity.

We tie ourselves in knots trying to figure how to be chatty and social, and still professional.

I wonder why we can’t treat social media as simply as that.

Today, the Associated Press unveiled an update to its social media guidelines.

They were immediately attacked in the Twittersphere, particularly on this update, on how to Retweet.

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