When Social Media Goes Wrong

Journalists are encouraged to use social media. The death of Michael Jackson and Whitney Housten were tweeted before any major news organisation was able to get to the story. If a news organisation is slow to respond to breaking news then they will become obsolete. However, the use of social media for profressional journalists working for a news organisation is somewhat murky.

Catherine Deveney, a former columnist for The Age, lost her job after she sent a series of tweets during a Logie awards night in 2010. Whilst tweeting during the awards is considered part of the job, the comedian Will Anderson used Twitter to joke about the awards ceremony, Catherine Deveney’s tweets were considered offensive. The Age received many complaints about the content of the tweets and she lost her job.

1/ Read the tweets sent by Deveney and discuss whether you believe her use of Twitter was inappropriate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Deveny#Twitter_comments_controversy
2/ Did she break the journalism code of ethics, if so, which one?
3/What standards should be established for journalists using Twitter or any other form of social media?

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