Why journalists (and everyone) should click the link before they tweet

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


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  • http://virtuallyyourz.com Dana Neuts

    Scott, you are a guru, and we are lucky to benefit from your social media wisdom. I agree with you. Monica Guzman taught me this: “Retweet responsibly!” and I do my best to follow that advice. I wish everyone did.

  • http://andreacastillofoundation.org/site/2012/12/officially-launch/ aqua laser hair removal

    I really like reading an article that will make people think.
    Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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