It’s kind of amazing to see how little Rupert Murdoch-owned media entities seem to get the internet. The latest is that Sky News — which had been building up a reputation for having reporters who used Twitter to break various stories — has issued a clampdown against journalists using Twitter to break stories, or even to tweet anything outside of their official beat. It’s like instructions on exactly how to kill off any Twitter presence. So, Sky journalists are not allowed to break a story without permission. It first has to get approval from the news desk. Reporters must “stick to” their own beat, and can’t talk about anything else. They’re not allowed to retweet reporters from other news entities or, really, any other person on Twitter. The only thing journalists can do (and are, in fact, encouraged to do) is to retweet stories that were posted by other Sky journalists (after those stories got approval from the news desk, presumably). It really is a perfect list of exactly the opposite of what a good modern journalist on Twitter should be doing these days. They should be breaking news on Twitter. They should be retweeting others. They should be willing to stray from their beat at times. All of these things build up connections and relationships with readers/fans/viewers. Not surprisingly, Sky staffers are apparently not at all happy about this:
Journalists at the broadcaster expressed shock and dismay at the new guidelines, which they claim are a retrograde step.
Well, it’s a Murdoch property, so… retrograde steps seem to be par for the course.
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