It’s Not Personal; It’s Business…

or is it?

The blurry line between friendship and professional. Over my time as editor of Pulse, I’ve pondered how to make personal connections with my staff writers yet also be taken seriously as editor. I’ve found that student-run media is very difficult since I’m their boss in Pulse and then just a peer in another class. I’m not a “normal” student. My job with the magazine makes my role as a student pretty complicated.

What about the social media blurry line?

As a journalist, you are always a journalist and this means that you need to take into careful consideration what you are saying on personal blogs, Facebook status’ and Tweets. Can you really have an opinion about that political party on your Facebook and then be objective when you write the article for your publication? The answer is no. What are the “rules” of social media etiquette for a journalist? Most companies have a policy in place with a few distinct rules but not everything fits nicely into a box. Most companies assume that you know the need for professionalism online. But are we teaching this in our classes? Can we afford to make this assumption that everyone in the professional world just knows what is appropriate for social media? I personally think this is an important topic that should be explored and have specific guidelines for offenders.

What about promotion? How does that work with social media? A journalist can get more readers by promoting the company on their personal Facebook. How does the company monitor all of what’s being said on personal sites? Especially a smaller company?

Food for thought. Off to class.

-BD

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