While We're at It, Times Reporters Should Leave Out Facebook Preferences Too!

obamabook071408 While We're at It, Times Reporters Should Leave Out Facebook Preferences Too!The Times’ Craig Whitney has one more thing to say on the subject of reporters/editors flaunting their political preferences: It shouldn’t be anywhere in their Facebook pages, either.

Here’s another memo, just sent out:

Fellow newsroom hands:
I should have also mentioned avoiding some other potential political entanglements: Web sites, personal blogs, YouTube, Facebook, slogans and so on in e-mails and instant messaging systems. When Facebook asks what your political preferences are, don’t answer, and don’t say anything in a blog, video, radio or television program or any other medium that you couldn’t say in the paper or on our Website — about politics or anything else.

This provision in Ethical Journalism is also worth keeping in mind:

"Staff members may not march or rally in support of public causes or movements, sign ads taking a position on public
issues, or lend their name to campaigns, benefit dinners or similar events if doing so might reasonably raise doubts about
their ability or The Times‘s ability to function as neutral observers in covering the news. Staff members must keep in
mind that neighbors and other observers commonly see them as representatives of The Times."

Thanks again,
Craig Whitney