Social media has attracted not only individuals and businesses but also the reporting media. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ together with the use of some effective social media tools are spreading the news faster than that can happen through other sources. It is simple, fast and efficient.
Out of all social channels, Twitter has unique advantage to share information through its short messages, also known as tweets. Twitter has also attracted journalists to offer lively updates to their followers. These tweets are spreading so fast through journalists that sometimes the central news hub lags behind the general public. This situation has created embarrassment in media like BBC, Sky News and CNN. Telecasting channels have no other go than clamping down the access (or restriction) of Twitter to its associates in the form of rules & regulations.
Mainstream broadcasting and telecasting media is in embarrassing situation when its associates pass information to the audience without spreading enough to their own news hub. CNN went to the extreme by suspending its associate from live action until further investigations are completed. Sky news has fastened bolts on its news dissemination format.
Reporters are banned from tweeting non-organizational tweets. They cannot spread breaking news to the general public without conveying the same to its news desk. While it is reasonable that broadcasting media should have discipline and systematic approach in presentation of information, the freedom granted to its associated should not be curtailed in an abrupt manner. Organizational guidelines should be respected and reporters should abide by the rules and regulations laid by the management. As per sky news new guidelines, reporters cannot repost tweets other than from employees. It has totally banned posting of tweets that belong to rival journalists.
Now, they cannot post non-work related information from their official twitter accounts. These measures are intended to bring more discipline on the users within the organization. Journalists are shocked to hear the news from an organization that had drawn undue advantage by publishing information through digital media.
Sky News made huge success by spreading news through Twitter during the Arab crisis and when riots happened in England recently. As per new guidelines which are conveyed through email to all the reporters, information which is not filtered through Sky News Editorial process cannot appear in tweets. It has been clarified that News desks happen to be the central hub for dissemination of information.
BBC releases new guidelines to its reporters. These guidelines are rather soft than Sky News. BBC insists its reporters to file a story along-with the tweet. As the ‘news break story’ reaches BBC colleagues and editorial board, the news will also reach through twitter. These guidelines are understood to have introduced to implant certain level of discipline and there is nothing wrong in protecting the interests of the organization.
On the other hand, CNN went to the extent of suspension of its reporter for the unnecessary hype created through his twitter account. While it is true that as long as reporters represent an organization, the reporter should abide by the code of conduct in every way, the new changes will create opportunities to explore new ways of journalism. After all, reporters are human-beings and they would like to utilize their freedom to the maximum possible extent. More and more innovative and cautious guidelines are expected from news reporting agencies as the social media’s potential grows continuously.