Sky News has informed journalists on their payroll to refrain from reposting information from any Twitter users who are not under the payroll of the broadcaster, as revealed by an email to staff yesterday as new social media guidelines for Sky News employees were introduced. There is also a contentious ban on retweeting rival “journalists or people on Twitter”. Not only that, Sky News journalists are advised to “stick to your own beat” and should do everything in their power to prevent non-work subjects being tweeted from their professional accounts.
This is a surprising move, considering Sky News is one of the news media outlets that has certainly embraced the digital revolution, having relied on Twitter to break news on events such as the Arab Spring uprising and England riots that happened last year. Needless to say, shock and dismay were the most used adjectives in describing journalists’ emotions who are under the employment of Sky News, who largely see this as taking a step backwords. The main reason for this? To ensure all news reported, regardless of platform, remains accurate. Makes sense, too – where is the line you would draw if you were in a decision making position at Sky News concerning this issue?