New sets of rules are coming hard and fast for any journalist spending time online. From ESPN’s Twitter policy to the Washington Post’s social media guidelines, the mainstream media has become increasingly weary of their employees’ behavior on the internet. In fear of an amorphous ethical line, and largely attempting to avoid claims of bias, companies are warning their Twitter-happy social networkers to tread lightly, and the BBC is the latest to issue guidelines. But their situation is a bit different.
Yesterday, the BBC Trust issued an updated set of editorial standards that included online activity: “Nothing should be written by [BBC] journalists and presenters that would not be said on-air,” read the guidelines, according the the Guardian. The BBC also addresses making biases public: “Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC programmes or other BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists and presenters on such matters.”
Interestingly, though the BBC guidelines are updated every five years, this is the first time they have been made public.
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