Dow Jones Writers Get Served New Twitter-Specific Conduct Rules

This story was written by Tameka Kee.
Codes of conduct and ethics are nothing new in newsrooms, but revising those rules with sites like Twitter and Facebook in mind is distinctly Web 2.0. That's just what Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) has done; writers at the WSJ, Newswires and MarketWatch all received a new list of rules for "professional conduct" spelling out how they should (and shouldn't) be using social and business networking sites.

E&P has the full text of the memo; one of the main rules is that writers should check in with an editor before "friending" contacts that could wind up being confidential sources. Writers are also instructed not to "recruit friends or family to promote or defend your work;" the e-mail concludes by reminding them that "business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter."

The revised code of conduct also includes details about offline friendships, freelance work and public speaking arrangements, but the inclusion of Twitter and Facebook "etiquette" is just one more example of how social media has reshaped the business of reporting news. 

Photo Credit: Samuel Mann

By Tameka Kee