Accuracy in Media

In an effort to quell criticism of media bias by reporters, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet issued an updated set of social media guidelines.

To the newsroom:

The New York Times has been a dominant force on social media for years. Our newsroom accounts have tens of millions of followers. Many of our journalists are influential voices on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. The voices of our readers, listeners and viewers inform and improve our reporting

We believe that to remain the world’s best news organization, we have to maintain a vibrant presence on social media.

But we also need to make sure that we are engaging responsibly on social media, in line with the values of our newsroom.

That’s why we’re issuing updated and expanded social media guidelines.

The guidelines were developed in a collaborative way by Cliff Levy, Phil Corbett and Cynthia Collins, and are rooted in the very experiences of our journalists.

Please read them closely, and take them to heart.

— Dean Baquet, Executive Editor

The updated policy came less than one day after Baquet spoke about his reporters’ use of social media at George Washington University and reported by Politico.

“I’ve spent full days policing our social media,” executive editor Dean Baquet said, adding that he’s called reporters personally. Baquet said his view is that Times journalists “should not be able to say anything on social media that they cannot say” in the pages of the Times or across its various platforms.

As the Times aggressively covers the Trump administration, Baquet said he wants it to be clear to the public that the paper’s motivation is “journalistically sound” and not part of “a vendetta” against the president. “I can’t do that if I have 100 people working for the New York Times sending inappropriate tweets,” he said. Baquet said the Times is “going to come up with a tougher policy.”

One of the biggest offenders of partisanship on Twitter was Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush, though he won’t have to comply with the new policy — he quit Twitter a month ago after being criticized for anti-Trump tweets.  His colleague Maggie Haberman took a one-week break from Twitter after issuing this tweet.

Maybe the break will reduce her enmity towards the president.


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