‘Correct and clarify mistakes’
Posted by shanthanubh
A Jadavpur University professor and a retired engineer were arrested for allegedly circulating cartoons depicting chief minister of Bengal and the supremo of Trinamool Congress Party (TMC). Later,they were granted bail.Indian Government wants to tighten its grip on social networking sites. UPA government at the center wanted social networking sites to remove ‘abusive’ comments and images of Indian politicians like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. After initial reluctance , Facebook, a popular social networking site, ultimately removed the objectionable comments and images. But those who believe that it’s a big blow to free speech and privacy must know you can not or should not write defamatory or obscene or threatening messages, mail or picture. I personally follow the guidelines of Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)such as:
Social media comments and postings should meet the same standards of fairness, accuracy and attribution that you apply to your on-air or digital platforms.
•Information gleaned online should be confirmed just as you must confirm scanner traffic or phone tips before reporting them. If you cannot independently confirm critical information, reveal your sources; tell the public how you know what you know and what you cannot confirm. Don’t stop there. Keep seeking confirmation. This guideline is the same for covering breaking news on station websites as on the air. You should not leave the public “hanging.” Lead the public to completeness and understanding.
• Twitter’s character limits and immediacy are not excuses for inaccuracy and unfairness.
•Remember that social media postings live on as online archives. Correct and clarify mistakes, whether they are factual mistakes or mistakes of omission.
•When using content from blogs or social media, ask critical questions such as:
- What is the source of the video or photograph? Who wrote the comment and what was the motivation for posting it.
- Does the source have the legal right to the material posted? Did that person take the photograph or capture the video?
- Has the photograph or video been manipulated? Have we checked to see if the metadata attached to the image reveals that it has been altered?
• Social networks typically offer a “privacy” setting, so users can choose not to have their photographs or thoughts in front of the uninvited public. Capturing material from a public Facebook site is different from prying behind a password-protected wall posing as a friend. When considering whether to access “private” content, journalists should apply the same RTDNA guidelines recommended for undercover journalism. Ask:
- Does the poster have a ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy?
- Is this a story of great significance?
- Is there any other way to get the information?
- Are you willing to disclose your methods and reasoning?
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