Brazilian news site releases guidelines for social media use by journalists

Keeping with the domestic and international trend, the UOL news site has released a set of guidelines for social media usage by its journalists, Liberdade Digital reports.

The recommendations are similar to those adopted by media outlets like Bloomberg, the Washington Post, and Reuters: journalists should not make partisan or political statements, discuss stories before they are published, disclose private newsroom details, or make posts that would compromise the independence of the site or harm its image.

According to a UOL reporter, since the new guidelines were published, journalists are using Twitter less: “Some people are thinking about deleting their profiles,” because they cannot be sure how the guidelines will be interpreted, he said, quoted by Comunique-se.

TV Recorde also recently released social networking rules for its reporters, columnist Flávio Ricco adds. The station said that posts by its journalists should not “contradict one’s professional activities or responsibilities or the company’s principles,” and to remember that “value judgments made about the company’s activities or the competition will be evaluated based on one’s affiliation with Rede Recorde not as personal opinions.”

The São Paulo Professional Journalists’ Syndicate says the social media rules threaten media workers, as they “look like censorship.”

Other Brazilian media outlets like Folha de São Paulo and TV Globo have had such rules in the books since 2009, IDG Now explains. In spite of this, journalists keep suffering reprisals for their comments on social networks, as shown in the Knight Center Twitter freed on social media restrictions.

Other Related Headlines:
» Knight Center (Exploring the possibilities and headaches of using social media in journalism)
» Knight Center (Twitter and the media: can journalists speak their minds?)

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.