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June 13, 2012
New AP Stylebook Wrestles With Social Media
 
The new AP Stylebook, notes the Poynter journalism institute, "has an expanded social media section that's intended to be a How To handbook on using social media to build sources and gather news." Or to negotiate the slippery slopes of SM signups. What's it mean for a journalist to be a "friend"? Check out AP's effort to explain.

"It is acceptable," says the Stylebook, "to extend and accept Facebook friend requests from sources if necessary for reporting purposes. However, Friending and 'liking' political candidates or causes may create a perception among people unfamiliar with the protocol of social networks that AP staffers are advocates. Therefore, staffers should avoid friending and liking unless they have a true reporting reason for it..." 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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