John Ryley, the Head of Sky News, has emailed everyone in the newsroom laying down the law on tweeting:
1. Tweeting should be confined to genuine news-gathering and promoting or reporting news stories, though first and foremost this should be happening on Sky News’ owned & operated platforms.
2. Anyone not involved in stories related to UK politics should not be Tweeting about it.
3. Analysis and interpretation are fine if that is part of your role at Sky News. Commentary on political/economic/industrial issues — in which a view or opinion is detectable – is not.
4. For the avoidance of any doubt arguing, swearing and giving a political opinion are all completely unacceptable. Reasonably correcting an erroneous statement or factual error about oneself is allowed.
5. Retweeting for the purposes of reportage is fine – but be very conscious that retweets are sometimes scrutinised for signs of bias or seen as an endorsement of the original Tweet.
6. Liking social media posts that are at odds with Sky News’ obligations and values will be considered a breach of our Editorial Guidelines
7. Avoid Tweeting about disputes on editorial policy or decisions at other news organisations.
8. All staff will need to complete a training e-module on the Editorial Guidelines including social media .
9. If you’re in any doubt about what and what not is OK to post you should speak to your line manager.
Please adhere to these rules – this is a requirement not a choice.
Yesterday Adam Boulton and mild-mannered Iain Dale kicked off, Kay Burley doesn’t ever hold back on telling people where to go on Twitter and has featured often and amusingly in “Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week“. Things will be more bland, though this was inevitable, regulated broadcasters’ impartiality was being stretched on Twitter.