Journalists Using Social Media to Express Their Opinions

Larry Wallace, Wayne State University, Update 04/04/2016 EST 10:40 AM

If you are an individual who identifies as a journalist, it is usually not a good idea to use social media as a platform to express opinions. The reason for this is because as a journalist you are expected to remain unbiased and this means avoiding expressing opinions on all contentious issues. Publishing opinionated Tweets and posts can easily can easily become associated with the news organization you work for and can ruin its reputation as an impartial outlet.

When thinking of ways to avoid providing opinions online, it is also a good idea to avoid most conversational topics no matter what. Always think whether a journalist may, some day, cover different topics, or if one employeeś opinion might impact another employeeś ability to report the news.

Providing opinion on entertainment or sports might be acceptable for journalists who do not cover these beats. However, ¨gushing praise or angry vitriol may still be an issue.¨ Also, if a news organization is open to certain point of views, it may not be a bad idea for a journalist to express his or her opinion. In fact, if this is the case, the journalist may want to fit in with the character of the operation and produce some opinions to the public.

According to The Buttry Diary, in traditional journalism, expressing opinions are fine for editorial writers and columnists, but can be troublesome or forbidden for reporters and some editors. So that is why opinion is sometimes viewed differently depending on the particular journalistś circumstances.

Personally, I think opinions from journalists are never okay. Part of our job is to be unbiased and that is what I think we should do at all times.

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