Mathew Ingram builds on the Sky News Twitter Policy story, injecting some much needed cool-headedness:
Mathew Ingram via GigaOM
Although it doesn’t link to an actual document, the Guardian story quotes from the Sky News guidelines, which tell reporters not to tweet about stories if they are not “a story to which you have been assigned or a beat which you work,” and says that anything approaching breaking news must be sent to a Sky editor first before being posted. The policy says that retweeting other Sky journalists is fine — provided they are posting updates about a story to which they have been assigned — but it says Sky staff are forbidden from retweeting anything that hasn’t been posted by a Sky News account:
Do not retweet information posted by other journalists or people on Twitter. Such information could be wrong and has not been through the Sky News editorial process.
Twitter is the newswire now, for better or worse
This is even more draconian than the most recent example of a news outlet trying to lock down Twitter use — namely, the Associated Press newswire, which came out with standards for retweeting that not only mis-stated how the process works on Twitter, but also forbade journalists working for the newswire from retweeting anything without adding a comment to make it clear that they were not agreeing with the person being retweeted. The AP rules also strictly forbid breaking news on Twitter, which ignores the fact (as I pointed out at the time) that for many people the real-time information network has become the newswire.
In the long run, Sky News won’t slow the move to liquid media — where all the most important information is experienced in the locale of greatest flow, first — but it’s fun to watch the media giants stumble over their own feet.