This week, I found a short post on “Is it ethical for journalists to friend sources on Facebook or LinkedIn?” Some say yes, some say no.
This dives into my final paper topic. Most ethical guidelines presented by news organizations have some snippet on impartiality or objectivity. They are the same, but different. Objectivity means you are relying solely on the facts. Impartiality is simply means being fair, it means you have opinions but you are rising above those personal opinions to deliver the facts. If you’re still lost, Skeptic Ink wrote a very clear breakdown between the two. The American Press Institute wrote a piece on “The lost meaning of ‘objectivity’” explains where and how the concept of objectivity came about.
Now, when it comes to social media – it is more of a tool, or at least that’s how it should be used. Social media is something that should be utilized by the journalistic community, but properly. Friending someone on Facebook, following someone on Twitter or adding someone to your LinkedIn network — doesn’t exactly make you friends. Social media can be used to better journalism, to move it forward, but again — only if used properly. When it comes to the boundaries of social media, these tools should be used solely for networking on a professional level.