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


Tags: , , , , , ,

  • 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!

Newest Posts

Congrats to Steve York, our April Volunteer of the Month! April 22, 2014, 6:05 pm
BEST OF THE SOUTH April 22, 2014, 10:31 am
2014 Regional Conference Recap April 21, 2014, 3:44 pm
Chicago Ethics Report April 21, 2014, 3:15 pm
A critique: first draft of SPJ Code of Ethics update April 21, 2014, 6:27 am
Congratulations! Mark of Excellence Awards list April 16, 2014, 5:21 pm
Mark of Excellence Award duplicate order form April 16, 2014, 5:13 pm

Copyright © 2007-2014 Society of Professional Journalists. All Rights Reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ