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How local television newsrooms’ social media policies are evolving

Patricia Cruz



The study “Social Media Policies in U.S. Television Newsrooms: Changes over Time” by Anthony C. Adornato and Allison Frisch from Ithaca College looked at the ways in which way newsroom social media policies evolve in four areas.

The four areas were 1) journalists’ professional

and personal social media activities, 2) social media sources and content, 3) audience complaints, and 4) ownership of on-air talents’ accounts.

Social media policies, or SMPs, address how social media impacts gatekeeping and agenda-setting, and objectivity, bias and transparency in newsrooms. A previous study reveals that nearly all newsrooms have SMPs. They typically address how to appropriately use social media accounts and so on. 

In this study, two U.S. online surveys were conducted, in 2014 and 2020. The sample for the first study consisted of 526 news directors, while the sample for the 2020 study consisted of 512 news directors. In the latter study, a prenotification email was sent to the directors and in both cases, reminders were sent to increase the response rate. 

The surveys contained questions on all the four areas. The total number of participants for the 2014 study ended up being 126, and 110 for the 2020 study. The results revealed that 95% (2014) and 96% (2020) of the newsrooms had SMPs.

When it comes to the first area, professional media activities, the study revealed that nearly all had guidelines for the use of professional accounts (90% in 2014, 96% in 2020). For the use of personal accounts, there was an even more marked increase in the guidelines: 71% had such guidelines initially compared to 79% in 2020.

There were seven items on the questionnaire related to online conduct. Nearly all of the SMPs had guidelines on sharing of personal opinions on professional accounts ( 95% in 2014 and 99% in 2020). An increase in other elements was noted: sharing of political affiliation went from 70% in 2014 to 98% in 2020; advocating on behalf of issue/agenda went from 83% (2014) to 97%, among others.

The SMPs made little distinction between what is appropriate on the professional accounts and personal accounts. The data regarding maintaining a personal account versus a professional did not change between the studies significantly. 

When it comes to the second area, sources and content, there was a noted increase on allowing the “friending” of sources between 2014 (41%) and 2020 (60%). Though some still discourage the practice, less than 1% of stations said it was not allowed. In content, there were no guidelines on verification in 30% (2014) and 26% (2020). aA significant increase,  45% in 2014 to 77% in 2020, said they were required to ask permission before publishing an user’s photo or video.

For the third area, audience complaints, there was a decrease on whether the reporters are allowed to respond to complaints (19% in 2014, and 7% in 2020). Very few (4%) stations had no policy on the issue, and for nearly a half it depended on the complaint type. 

On ownership, it is an increasing policy for the stations to own the accounts of on-air talent (66% in 2014, 70% in 2020). On the question, only on the 2020 study,  on whether the leaving reporters are allowed to take their accounts with them if owned by the station, a plurality (43%)  selected no, 37% yes, and 20% “it depends”. There were also other further questions on the 2020 version. 

Although nearly all of the newsrooms had SMPs, a surprising amount had unwritten ones – 17% in 2014 and 22% in 2020. A majority of them (72%) had been revised in six years. SMPs are still a top-down exercise in most cases, with managers drafting the guidelines and only 30% (2014) and 26% (2020) asking for input from staff members. The authors note that this process should be evaluated more. 

They also comment on the conundrum that staff members are expected to humanize themselves on personal accounts, yet the guidelines which differ little from professional accounts leave little room to do so. 

The entire topic requires more empirical study particularly when it comes to journalistic autonomy and journalistic capital. The authors suggest that further studies could focus on how journalists from marginalized communities are allowed to share their lived experiences on social media under the SMPs.

The article  “Social Media Policies in U.S. Television Newsrooms: Changes over Time” by Anthony C. Adornato and Allison Frisch is in Electronic News. (open access).

Picture: untitled by Adem AY @ademay

License Unsplash. 

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The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout



In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout



Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.


Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout



Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

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