October 20th, 2011
Why journalists (and everyone) should click the link before they tweet
By Scott Leadingham
Do a web search for “social media tips” are you’ll likely get way more hits from self-described “social media experts” (or “gurus”) than you ever thought possible.
I am neither an expert nor a guru, but sometimes people ask for a few tips on using social media, particularly Twitter. One rule I always say for myself that I encourage others, especially journalists, follow: Don’t retweet a link without clicking it first and seeing what’s there.
It can be tempting to pass along the information quickly, even from a trusted news source. But I wouldn’t email a URL to a friend without reading the article first. And I doubt my grandma, long known for clipping and sending newspaper articles to her family, would be that sloppy.
This example isn’t earth shattering and didn’t cause a scandal or anything of the sort. But it is illustrative of the point.
If you have a newsroom or personal policy about this, or another social media topic, please let us know in the comments.
Scott Leadingham is editor of SPJ’s Quill magazine. On Twitter: @scottleadingham