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Author Topic: The Times Issues Social Media Guidelines for the Newsroom [Best practices?]  (Read 1668 times)
Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« on: October 29, 2017, 04:58:59 PM »

Your thoughts? Best practices for PAO and Command Track per NHQ.

This message is intended for all Commanders, Public Affairs Officers, persons who have pursued the Public Affairs Specialty Track, as well as Public Information Officers:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/reader-center/social-media-guidelines.html
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 853

« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 05:11:56 PM »

Quote
Here Are the Key Points

• In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.

• Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively.

• These guidelines apply to everyone in every department of the newsroom, including those not involved in coverage of government and politics.

That had me rolling on the floor. We don't have objective, facts only, investigative reporters in the national media anymore.  All of them are partisan social justice warriors with agendas.  :(


That said ..... no you can't apply it at the same level to volunteers in an agency like CAP.  What they post on their 'personal' social media accounts is their own business and not that of CAP.

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MS - MO - AP - MP
Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 05:54:10 PM »

That said ..... no you can't apply it at the same level to volunteers in an agency like CAP.  What they post on their 'personal' social media accounts is their own business and not that of CAP.
What do you think of the argument that Commanders and PAOs personal posts and opinions will end up being construed as representing their unit and Civil Air Patrol as an organization?
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 740

« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 06:43:42 PM »

What do you think of the argument that Commanders and PAOs personal posts and opinions will end up being construed as representing their unit and Civil Air Patrol as an organization?

That is always a possibility, not just with CAP but with your employer, just as the NYT post mentioned.  This is especially true for the individuals who have CAP listed as their occupation in their profile. 
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 853

« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 07:29:31 PM »

That said ..... no you can't apply it at the same level to volunteers in an agency like CAP.  What they post on their 'personal' social media accounts is their own business and not that of CAP.
What do you think of the argument that Commanders and PAOs personal posts and opinions will end up being construed as representing their unit and Civil Air Patrol as an organization?

OK. If you wish to start going down that road .... lets start here with the public accessible CAP Talk forum.

How many houndreds of threads that contain negative opinions and thoughts of CAP shall we delete? And how many members who have posted such info should be banned?

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MS - MO - AP - MP
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 853

« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 07:31:29 PM »


 This is especially true for the individuals who have CAP listed as their occupation in their profile.

I've never quite understood that one. CAP should be listed (if at all) on your ABOUT page in the description field along with your other hobbies and interests.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
ProdigalJim
Seasoned Member

Posts: 498
Unit: MER-VA-082

Aviation Week
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 10:01:55 PM »

That had me rolling on the floor. We don't have objective, facts only, investigative reporters in the national media anymore.  All of them are partisan social justice warriors with agendas.  :(

There is no such thing as objectivity, never was, never will be and, honestly, never should be. "Facts only" is stenography. And the simple choice of which facts get included and which get edited out by definition carries a bias -- whether understood by the editor or so ingrained that it becomes a subliminal choice. To expect that kind of pure objectivity is unrealistic.

What was always meant by objectivity -- and what was taught to most of us coming up years ago -- was not the same as "neutrality." Objectivity, as first posited by Walter Lippmann, was intended to inculcate the idea of the curious scientist in reporters. Don't make your mind up in advance, go gather your data, and then -- here's the part a lot of people miss -- draw your conclusions based on that data. It's not just gather your data and print it all unsynthesized.

Most left-leaning folks believe reporters are corporate toadies, in thrall to their corporate masters. Most right-leaning folks think the press is a fundamentally liberal institution. Both interpretations are incorrect, and before you start typing your response read my reasoning all the way through.

These interpretations flow from two misconceptions and misunderstandings many people outside the news business share. The first misunderstanding involves readers’ self-perception: "I’m correct and secure in my world view,” so if I read anything that challenges that world-view, the writer must be wrong/biased/an idiot/evil. Not so. All humans have filters, assumptions and biases whether they’re readers or reporters. A lot of careful study and science has shown that a person’s background and culture can affect their reactions to even supposedly neutral facts. The same facts, reported in the same way, with the same words, can be read by different readers in different ways no matter how the reporter presents them based solely on the reader's readiness to fit those facts into a personal schema of the world. It's just human nature.

The second misconception is that reporters are sensitive to the needs of their business and write and report accordingly, following the Publisher’s directives so they can “sell more papers” or “sell more ads.” This is patently untrue: more than possibly any other class of professional, reporters are profoundly ignorant about how the business of news operates and about the revenue models that pay their salaries. If anything, Publishers often wish their reporters "got it" a little more, and generally grumble that they don't. (Important caveat: more than ever, a lot of reporters are no longer salaried professionals learning a beat and honing their craft, but "gigging" hustlers who never get a chance to develop expertise or independence. So for them, this is a far different conversation.)

Instead, it’s useful to think of news “slant” actually coming from the interaction of Five Biases under which reporters operate. These are biases of which they themselves are unaware and are the result of external pressures and forces they are mostly powerless to change. These forces are both structural and cultural.

I happen to think it's important for CAP PAOs to understand these pressures and biases, because once you understand them you’ll understand not only how to create content that works but also understand why CAP press releases often fail.

The Five Biases are grouped in two categories, Evaluation Biases and Production Biases. These five forces interact with each other to tug and pull news coverage in a given direction. They are measureable and susceptible to quantitative analysis, and each bias forms a kind of continuum in which the reporter’s work can be plotted. It's actually possible using linguistic and content analysis to assign mathematical values to the expression of each of these forces in a given news story, and then to use those values along all five axes to drop each story into an analytical "space" that makes news slant visible.

Evaluation Biases

Popularity – the tendency of the press as an institution to treat more favorably ideas or politicians that *appear* more popular. At one end of the popularity spectrum you might find perception that the person or institution being reported on is wildly popular and widely accepted, while at the opposite end is the perception that a person, institution or idea is "fringe" or "out of the mainstream".

Power – the tendency of the press as an institution to treat more favorably ideas or politicians that *appear* more powerful. Again, the spectrum here would run from perceptions that the person or institution being reported on is weak, ineffective or not respected to basically effective all the way to extremely influential and powerful, with unchallenged authority or prestige.

Production Biases

Simplification – It may seem obvious, but simple straightforward stories are easier to tell than stories involving nuance, layers or multiple interpretations. When confronted with complex or difficult stories, busy, hassled reporters tend to fall back on shortcuts in which a situation is simplified, ostensibly for understanding but more often at the cost of accuracy.

Personalization – Reporting on events or people is much easier than reporting on ideas or concepts. When confronted with complex, difficult stories about abstract ideas, reporters tend to fall back on the shortcut of finding a person, a “character,” through which to tell the story. This again tends to blur nuance in more complex ideas, and results in oversimplification and error.

Symbolism – When confronted with complex, difficult stories, reporters will often resort to symbolism, calling upon a cliché or archetype, as a simile. Often this misses the point and masks truth, but it makes it more accessible to readers without the essential background…and this often includes the reporters themselves.

High-quality journalism tends to reflect abstract, idea-driven and conceptual reporting, while low-quality journalism tends to lean toward concrete, character/people-driven and highly symbolic (sometimes rabble-rousing) reporting. This goes all the way back to the penny press and before, all the way back to the colonial-era printers.

And here is where PAOs can use the knowledge above.

Know that the reporters you’re trying to cultivate are more than likely inexperienced, overwhelmed, academically unprepared, unable to develop deep background in our activities and are probably behind the curve on multiple deadlines just about any time you call them or email them. THEY NEED YOUR HELP. In addition, they probably entered the journalism field with the idea that they would produce long-form pieces about the great ideas powering our modern era, and are now instead having to crank out simplistic, character-driven reporting to satisfy their bosses in the shortest amount of time possible.

As a practical matter, this means you need to make your press releases:

1)   Genuinely newsworthy, and not a waste of time for the reporter or editor
2)   Easy to obtain and easy to understand (active voice, no jargon)
3)   Timely

This also means your photos need to be strong, awesome usable images, not weak, grip-and-grin fuzzy images or posed pictures of people-manikins standing in front of an airplane. They need to be available digitally, without hassle or delay. They need to be plentiful and named and indexed so they can be sorted through with a minimum of drama and headache, regardless of platform (laptop, tablet or smartphone).

Lastly, you need to provide context. With the demise of the beat system and the pressures of the new media landscape reporters have neither the time nor the inclination to learn why something that happens in Civil Air Patrol is important. This is why relationship-building is so important and it's where CAP fails hardest. If your first interaction with a reporter is to try to “sell” them a marginal story that is important to you as a PAO but not to the reporter or to the readers at large, you’re doomed to fail.

On the other hand, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success by getting to know the reporters who might be covering your area and our activities and then becoming a resource for them. Connect them with CAP officials. Help them understand what CAP does in the community, in the state and in the Nation. Give them a framework. Position us along the Popularity and Power spectra I talked about earlier. Give them enough help that they don't commit the sin of Simplification. Provide enough context (and if possible, hands-on experience) that the reporter doesn't feel the need to fall back on Symbolism, that they really feel knowledgeable enough to explain the story in prose without that crutch. And pull the Personalization lever when you can...humanize our activities by telling stories through the eyes of our members.

(And to etodd: not an attack on you, simply a convenient jumping-off point for the larger issue)
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Jim Mathews, Maj., CAP
Commander, VAWG Group 3
My Mitchell Has Four Digits...
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,664
Unit: of issue

« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 06:10:41 AM »

Quite possible the most useful post I've read on CAPTalk in years.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Live2Learn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 466

« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 09:44:20 AM »

Prodigal Jim: 

Nice summary of the normative purpose and operation of media.  Now, having served for several years as a PAO on various emergency incidents let me add a penny or two 'for the Gipper'.

The media has fundamentally two purposes in our corporatized and opinionated world (in my humble opinion... :) )

1.  Make a profit.  This is NOT accomplished by "balanced" reporting.  It is best accomplished by contrived (and less often real) controversy.  Every now and again someone in media slips up and makes a truly honest assessment of their industry:  Since the spring of 2016 I've seen more than one media exec who observed that "Trump [his Primary performances, his run for the Whitehouse, and now his continued torrent of communications via Twitter and other] has been the best thing [for the bottom line] our company has seen in years." 

And

2.  The other purpose which is even less freely admitted [at least by the US media, but evidently well understood by Putin and his Chinese counterpart] is the power of mass communications to shape perceptions and influence popular opinion in useful [to the media owners] ways.  Probably the most egregious example of both was the Hearst newspapers role in fomenting the Spanish American War of over a century ago.  There are numerous less obvious, but equally egregious examples in contemporary media.

It's helpful for PAO's, Commanders, and even our rank and file to understand these two purposes.  While it would be nice to have faith in journalistic "fairness and objectivity", both are a myth which we should all keep in mind.
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NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,664
Unit: of issue

« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 11:39:54 AM »

You do realize you're "informing" a guy who spent like 26 years as a journalist, right?

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Live2Learn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 466

« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 12:04:24 PM »

You do realize you're "informing" a guy who spent like 26 years as a journalist, right?

And your point is that he's not already aware of these observations?

IMHO, Media is a powerful tool for wealth creation and opinion manipulation.  It's usefulness is well understood by person's who practice the art of persuasion who own the private enterprises we collectively call 'media', as well as those who control content a bit more obviously (think China, Russia, etc.).  PJ made the point that bland material ain't likely to be published.  True.  I can't count the times I've witnessed "news" reporters make several takes of the same breathless statement while the camera operator used the magic of outstanding optics to make a single clump of trees burning across a canyon appear to be a conflagration.  I also recall witnessing what was described in the evening news cast as a 'large demonstration' against nuclear power' that consisted of about 20 people.  Camera angle does amazing things!  Gotta get the hype just right, ya know.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 853

« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 01:23:07 PM »

That had me rolling on the floor. We don't have objective, facts only, investigative reporters in the national media anymore.  All of them are partisan social justice warriors with agendas.  :(

There is no such thing as objectivity, never was, never will be and, honestly, never should be. "Facts only" is stenography. And the simple choice of which facts get included and which get edited out by definition carries a bias -- whether understood by the editor or so ingrained that it becomes a subliminal choice. To expect that kind of pure objectivity is unrealistic.

What was always meant by objectivity -- and what was taught to most of us coming up years ago -- was not the same as "neutrality." Objectivity, as first posited by Walter Lippmann, was intended to inculcate the idea of the curious scientist in reporters. Don't make your mind up in advance, go gather your data, and then -- here's the part a lot of people miss -- draw your conclusions based on that data. It's not just gather your data and print it all unsynthesized.

Most left-leaning folks believe reporters are corporate toadies, in thrall to their corporate masters. Most right-leaning folks think the press is a fundamentally liberal institution. Both interpretations are incorrect, and before you start typing your response read my reasoning all the way through.

These interpretations flow from two misconceptions and misunderstandings many people outside the news business share. The first misunderstanding involves readers’ self-perception: "I’m correct and secure in my world view,” so if I read anything that challenges that world-view, the writer must be wrong/biased/an idiot/evil. Not so. All humans have filters, assumptions and biases whether they’re readers or reporters. A lot of careful study and science has shown that a person’s background and culture can affect their reactions to even supposedly neutral facts. The same facts, reported in the same way, with the same words, can be read by different readers in different ways no matter how the reporter presents them based solely on the reader's readiness to fit those facts into a personal schema of the world. It's just human nature.

The second misconception is that reporters are sensitive to the needs of their business and write and report accordingly, following the Publisher’s directives so they can “sell more papers” or “sell more ads.” This is patently untrue: more than possibly any other class of professional, reporters are profoundly ignorant about how the business of news operates and about the revenue models that pay their salaries. If anything, Publishers often wish their reporters "got it" a little more, and generally grumble that they don't. (Important caveat: more than ever, a lot of reporters are no longer salaried professionals learning a beat and honing their craft, but "gigging" hustlers who never get a chance to develop expertise or independence. So for them, this is a far different conversation.)

Instead, it’s useful to think of news “slant” actually coming from the interaction of Five Biases under which reporters operate. These are biases of which they themselves are unaware and are the result of external pressures and forces they are mostly powerless to change. These forces are both structural and cultural.

I happen to think it's important for CAP PAOs to understand these pressures and biases, because once you understand them you’ll understand not only how to create content that works but also understand why CAP press releases often fail.

The Five Biases are grouped in two categories, Evaluation Biases and Production Biases. These five forces interact with each other to tug and pull news coverage in a given direction. They are measureable and susceptible to quantitative analysis, and each bias forms a kind of continuum in which the reporter’s work can be plotted. It's actually possible using linguistic and content analysis to assign mathematical values to the expression of each of these forces in a given news story, and then to use those values along all five axes to drop each story into an analytical "space" that makes news slant visible.

Evaluation Biases

Popularity – the tendency of the press as an institution to treat more favorably ideas or politicians that *appear* more popular. At one end of the popularity spectrum you might find perception that the person or institution being reported on is wildly popular and widely accepted, while at the opposite end is the perception that a person, institution or idea is "fringe" or "out of the mainstream".

Power – the tendency of the press as an institution to treat more favorably ideas or politicians that *appear* more powerful. Again, the spectrum here would run from perceptions that the person or institution being reported on is weak, ineffective or not respected to basically effective all the way to extremely influential and powerful, with unchallenged authority or prestige.

Production Biases

Simplification – It may seem obvious, but simple straightforward stories are easier to tell than stories involving nuance, layers or multiple interpretations. When confronted with complex or difficult stories, busy, hassled reporters tend to fall back on shortcuts in which a situation is simplified, ostensibly for understanding but more often at the cost of accuracy.

Personalization – Reporting on events or people is much easier than reporting on ideas or concepts. When confronted with complex, difficult stories about abstract ideas, reporters tend to fall back on the shortcut of finding a person, a “character,” through which to tell the story. This again tends to blur nuance in more complex ideas, and results in oversimplification and error.

Symbolism – When confronted with complex, difficult stories, reporters will often resort to symbolism, calling upon a cliché or archetype, as a simile. Often this misses the point and masks truth, but it makes it more accessible to readers without the essential background…and this often includes the reporters themselves.

High-quality journalism tends to reflect abstract, idea-driven and conceptual reporting, while low-quality journalism tends to lean toward concrete, character/people-driven and highly symbolic (sometimes rabble-rousing) reporting. This goes all the way back to the penny press and before, all the way back to the colonial-era printers.

And here is where PAOs can use the knowledge above.

Know that the reporters you’re trying to cultivate are more than likely inexperienced, overwhelmed, academically unprepared, unable to develop deep background in our activities and are probably behind the curve on multiple deadlines just about any time you call them or email them. THEY NEED YOUR HELP. In addition, they probably entered the journalism field with the idea that they would produce long-form pieces about the great ideas powering our modern era, and are now instead having to crank out simplistic, character-driven reporting to satisfy their bosses in the shortest amount of time possible.

As a practical matter, this means you need to make your press releases:

1)   Genuinely newsworthy, and not a waste of time for the reporter or editor
2)   Easy to obtain and easy to understand (active voice, no jargon)
3)   Timely

This also means your photos need to be strong, awesome usable images, not weak, grip-and-grin fuzzy images or posed pictures of people-manikins standing in front of an airplane. They need to be available digitally, without hassle or delay. They need to be plentiful and named and indexed so they can be sorted through with a minimum of drama and headache, regardless of platform (laptop, tablet or smartphone).

Lastly, you need to provide context. With the demise of the beat system and the pressures of the new media landscape reporters have neither the time nor the inclination to learn why something that happens in Civil Air Patrol is important. This is why relationship-building is so important and it's where CAP fails hardest. If your first interaction with a reporter is to try to “sell” them a marginal story that is important to you as a PAO but not to the reporter or to the readers at large, you’re doomed to fail.

On the other hand, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success by getting to know the reporters who might be covering your area and our activities and then becoming a resource for them. Connect them with CAP officials. Help them understand what CAP does in the community, in the state and in the Nation. Give them a framework. Position us along the Popularity and Power spectra I talked about earlier. Give them enough help that they don't commit the sin of Simplification. Provide enough context (and if possible, hands-on experience) that the reporter doesn't feel the need to fall back on Symbolism, that they really feel knowledgeable enough to explain the story in prose without that crutch. And pull the Personalization lever when you can...humanize our activities by telling stories through the eyes of our members.

(And to etodd: not an attack on you, simply a convenient jumping-off point for the larger issue)

Whew!  Sorry I sidetrack the thread with a view of media folks. (I was in broadcast news for 21 years.)

Maybe we can get back to the topic of members' personal social media pages ....

I still say that for volunteer orgs like CAP, its none of CAP's business what anyone is writing on their personal social media pages.

Is Hdqs going to assign folks to start lurking on all our social media accounts? LOL

And again ... shall we start with CAP Talk? Lost of threads should be deleted.

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MS - MO - AP - MP
Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2017, 03:18:01 PM »

More food for thought: https://www.cato.org/blog/poll-71-americans-say-political-correctness-has-silenced-discussions-society-needs-have-58-have
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,995

« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2017, 04:25:27 PM »

The only way to "win" social media, is not to play.



There has never been anyone in the history of the known universe who has sat in a quiet place and said
"What I need in my life is more unsolicited opinion, 1/2-truths, slanted comments, political memes, and cat pictures..."

But I can tell you stories of a lot of people who wish they'd never heard of "social" media.

FWIW, CAPTalk is many things, but it's not "social media".
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 853

« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2017, 07:46:49 PM »



There has never been anyone in the history of the known universe who has sat in a quiet place and said
"What I need in my life is more unsolicited opinion, 1/2-truths, slanted comments, political memes, and cat pictures..."


That one tickled me.  Next time you are at a quiet park or beach .... look around. Look around at all the people, young and old alike, who instead of joying the beauty of the day, are instead starring at their cell phone or tablet. 90% of whom are checking Facebook.

Social Media advertising using posts are 'push technologies' that put your posts about some Cadet or Senior CAP event right in their face.

Its here, its now ... its effective.

You and other folks who hate SM may never see the ad .... but its a numbers game anyway. Enough others will, that your not seeing doesn't matter.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2017, 03:59:57 AM »

Social Media advertising using posts are 'push technologies' that put your posts about some Cadet or Senior CAP event right in their face.

Its here, its now ... its effective.

You and other folks who hate SM may never see the ad .... but its a numbers game anyway. Enough others will, that your not seeing doesn't matter.

Well said!
Logged
Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 04:13:51 AM »


Maybe we can get back to the topic of members' personal social media pages ....

I still say that for volunteer orgs like CAP, its none of CAP's business what anyone is writing on their personal social media pages.

Is Hdqs going to assign folks to start lurking on all our social media accounts? LOL

And again ... shall we start with CAP Talk? Lost of threads should be deleted.
1 - I get the "command intent" and agree with it.
2 - My field (both day job and the Patrol) require a certain level of circumspection / discretion.
3 - I am always trying to restrain my more normal impulses in light of the above.
4 - I actually think a more formal approach to review of official business posts makes sense.
5 - Regards personal posts, policing those presents many issues.
6 - Implementation of the "command intent" will complicate recruiting and retention immensely.
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Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2017, 03:07:18 PM »

Social media meltdown example: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/02/shawn-vestal-days-before-election-local-gop-leader/
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Live2Learn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 466

« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2017, 04:40:37 PM »

Social media meltdown example: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/02/shawn-vestal-days-before-election-local-gop-leader/

That's just one example of local dirt.  Then there are the outright false accusations against another candidate sponsored by a PAC of local infamy that assert health violations at restraunts he doesn't own.  Russian meddling in our elections via social media and elsewhere is concerning.  So too is rumor creation and mongering by any of our many home grown interests, and even by the respected 'journalists' of [name your favorite private or public funded media].  Caveat emptor applies to all sources of potential misinformation.  Restated as an axiom to live by..."a little cynicism never hurts."  I also find it helpful to remember this: media reports "stories", never "facts".

Now, what was the original intent of this thread?
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Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 105

« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2017, 06:28:20 PM »


Now, what was the original intent of this thread?
To discern if the article provides "best practices" for command track and PAO members. I think it does, at least in the abstract. Practical implementation maybe tougher. What that local GOP leader has discovered is that people (and especially the press) blur the personal and official. That defines what I perceive as the "command intent" behind the reminder.
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BuckeyeDEJ
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,069
Unit: GLR-001

« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2017, 08:04:06 PM »

As a journalist who's been in the employ of the Sulzberger family, and who's slinged (slung?) enough ink around here to cover a decent-size city, I can tell you this:

Why hasn't The New York Times taken an industry lead on this? Why are they following the crowd again?

When I was at the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times, name change, that's all), we had a social media policy that could, if broken, impose sanctions including employment termination.

On the positive side, it will keep reporters from running their mouths. On the negative side, biases are driven further underground.

Where CAP is concerned, there are some social media guidelines hanging around. Common sense is a good starting point, though.

A few things I'd recommend, off the top of my head:
-- Don't use your rank as part of your name/handle. Just, seriously, don't.
-- Use your unit page to promote unit activities, and share to your personal profiles from those official posts.
-- As much as possible, do NOT conduct CAP business or make CAP announcements from your personal accounts (and that includes email).
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CAP since 1984: Lt Col; former C/Lt Col; MO, MRO, MS, IO; former sq CC/CD/PA; group and wing PA, natl cmte mbr, nat'l staff member, at region level now
REAL LIFE: Working journalist in SPG, DTW (News), SRQ, PIT (Trib), 2D1, WVI, W22; editor, desk chief, designer, photog, columnist, reporter, graphics guy, visual editor, but not all at once. Now in marketing.
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