Ask Ms. Politico: Always Err On Side of Caution

Today we continue our advice column we’re calling “Ask Ms. Politico.” It concerns an 11-page Politico Ethics Manual we recently got our hands on, from which there is an abundance of wisdom to share. So we ask Ms. Politico a question and she answers us straight from the manual. We’ll run this feature as long as it takes to impart the wisdom. Enjoy!

Q: Hi there Ms. Politico! My question involves Social Media. For starters, will my Social Media crap be reviewed by my supervisors? How careful do I need to be? Also, can I call up an organization and misrepresent myself? As in, say, call up The Daily Caller and pretend that I potentially want to purchase an ad?

See what Ms. Politico has to say…

Note to readers: In the ethics manual, Politico has 13 rules of thumb. We’re picking and choosing so as not to bore you. All commentary in brackets is ours.

Ms. Politico: “As with any other form of public expression, use of Twitter and social media will be reviewed by an employee’s direct supervisor as well as POLITICO senior management. 1. Ethics rules that apply to your reporting also apply to your social media accounts. You should exercise caution with tweets or Facebook posts that may compromise your reputation as an objective and impartial journalist. 2. Tweets/post should not express political opinions or bias [Hello there Joe Williams!]. 3. If you’re unsure whether you should post something on Twitter or Facebook–don’t. Always err on the side of caution. 5. You should not break news on Twitter. In the event of breaking news, contact your editor first before taking the information to your feed. 8. Limit your engagement with any user who is critical of your work over Twitter or Facebook [unless your name is Ben White! You must fight them, Ben.] 12. Be transparent about your role and occupation at POLITICO when you reach out to possible sources via social network sites. [This probably means don’t call up The Daily Caller and be all shady about where you work. In July, Dylan Byers skated a thin line of sketchiness. Read here.]”

Publish date: December 21, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT