AP, Writers and Social Media

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The AP is Changing the Way Their Reporters Use Twitter reports that the Associated Press (AP) is forbidding writers from sharing opinions in Twitter, including opinions of others through retweets. I understand AP wants to ensure its reputation for unbiased reporting remains intact.
My initial reaction was tripping over my jaw that had somehow landed on the floor. But the more I thought about it, the more I understood the concern. Let’s say you read an unbiased AP article about hydraulic fracturing. If the AP writer who wrote the story has a Twitter account and tweeted that the problems surrounding hydraulic fracturing are overblown, how would that affect the article? Future articles?
What if the writer makes no mention of writing for AP in his Twitter bio? When I tweet a link to a story, I often look up the writer for a Twitter ID to credit the person with writing the story. If I do that with the hydraulic fracturing writer and see opinionated tweets on the subject — could that reflect on AP and the writer?
As I think about this, I’m at a loss on the right way to handle this. With so much low quality, biased reporting today — maybe it’s necessary for AP to do it for the sake of integrity.
What do you think of AP’s actions? Are they exempt or should it apply to other publications? What about companies? Can employees be allowed to share opinions about competitors and their industry?

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