Online Common Sense for Journos

Let me preface this by saying this is probably a pointless post. So if you don’t read any further, I won’t blame you at all. But I’ve seen some people in the industry post really dumb things that could (obviously) come back to haunt them. So this is a “WAKE UP, YOU DUMMY!” for them. And maybe you. But probably not. You seem like you have your online-self together.

1. Don’t post passive-aggressive status updates on Facebook that are indirectly directed at your editor — especially if you’re friends with other staff members. Or if you’re friends with anyone, really.

2. Don’t Tweet negative things about your newsroom in fits of stress or frustration. Despite how many “Favorites” or “RTs” you get, you won’t be thinking about that when your editor calls you out about said frustration tweet.

3. Stop posting all those pictures of you with booze. We all know journos like their booze, but if you want to make sure you have enough money to scrape together to buy that booze, knock it off with all that picture-takin’.

4. Don’t complain about stories you’re working on, the long hours or the low pay — unless you do so in a quirky way and use the #PartyLikeAJournalist hashtag. That’s the only way to do it.

5. Take down all those pictures of you with booze. No brainer, right?

6. Always put either “Tweets are personal opinion,” “These tweets do no reflect the views of [news organization],” or “RTs are not endorsements.” Or all of the above.

7. If you post anything negative, someone WILL find out about it and tell your editor. It might take a while, but it’ll happen eventually.

So, in conclusion. Just don’t be dumb, cool, bud-dies?


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