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Reuters / Reporting from Internet

March 12, 2010

This is Reuter’s Handbook of Journalism. I suggest you this as a valuable professional document, especially chapter about using the Internet

http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php/Reporting_from_the_internet#Social_media_guidelines

For those who like ” fast reading ” of documents I post here some of important paragrahs:

1. “Please capture, save and print a copy of a “screenshot” of the web page in question in order to defend us against charges of printing nonexistent information. If you do not know how to capture a screenshot, ask anyone with a technical bent to show you how. It is our best protection against vanishing web sites. Be wary of “unusual” news discovered on a web site. Do not treat this as “normal news” until the company or organisation confirms it or at least has a chance to respond to what you have found”.

2. When should I ‘tweet’?

There are several ways in which Reuters News journalists are using Twitter to micro-blog as part of their professional duties:

  • Specialist journalists use Twitter to share articles and build up a following (seetwitter.com/reutersBenHir and twitter.com/bobbymacReports)
  • Online Editorial staff and bloggers use Twitter to distribute news and solicit reader comment (see twitter.com/mediafile, twitter.com/Reuters_FluNews and twitter.com/reuters_co_uk)
  • Reuters journalists are using Twitter during live events such as Davos and to solicit questions for newsmaker interviews

1. If you wish to use Twitter as part of your professional role you should seek the permission of your line manager.

2. If you are using Twitter professionally you should use the word ‘Reuters’ in the name of your stream or somewhere else on the page.

3. The Trust Principles apply to Twitter — you should do nothing that compromises them.

4. Micro-blogging and use of social media tend to blur the distinction between professional and personal lives: when using Twitter or social media in a professional capacity you should aim to be personable but not to include irrelevant material about your personal life.

3. Online Encylopedias

Online information sources which rely on collaborative, voluntary and often anonymous contributions need to be handled with care. Wikipedia, the online “people’s encyclopedia”, can be a good starting point for research, but it should not be used as an attributable source. Do not quote from it or copy from it. The information it contains has not been validated and can change from second to second as contributors add or remove material. Move on to official websites or other sources that are worthy of attribution. Do not link to Wikipedia or similar collaborative encyclopedia sites as a source of background information on any topic. More suitable sites can almost always be found, and indeed are often flagged at the bottom of Wikipedia entries. It is only acceptable to link to an entry on Wikipedia or similar sites when the entry or website itself is the subject of a news story.

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