The NYT is cracking down on its journalists’ Twitter feeds
Last Thursday, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told Politico he was tired of “policing” his writers’ social media accounts and wanted a stricter policy.
And the following day, the 166-year-old paper published a set of new guidelines that dramatically limit what its reporters can and can’t say on their personal social media accounts.
In the paper’s opinion, its journalists “should not be able to say anything on social media” that they wouldn’t otherwise say in the Times.
That includes: expressing partisan opinions, promoting political views, endorsing candidates, or doing anything else that “undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.”
The decree also strictly regulates when they can block or mute other users’ Twitter accounts — and bars them from using Twitter to rant about customer service issues like regular people. Isn’t that the point of Twitter?!
This could come back to bite them
In the digital era, one of the big draws of the Times is its wide range of personalities. There are a number of journalists there — Maggie Haberman, Mike Isaac, Farhad Manjoo — who have acquired loyal audiences, at least in part, thanks to their frequent and unorthodox social media practices.
Twitter allows writers to build their own personal brands — and Baquet’s new plan will, in effect, punish these personalities for doing what they’re paid to do.
Unfortunately, with only 3 tweets under his belt, Baquet may have a hard time sympathizing.
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