Associated Press updates Twitter and Facebook guidelines


The news agency has updated its social media guidelines to say as long as journalists have informed the newsdesk of big breaking news they are allowed to tweet about it

The Associated Press has updated its social media guidelines with a change which clarifies that its journalists are allowed to tweet breaking news even if a story is not yet on the wire.

Under the updated guidelines AP journalists are told their “first obligation” in the case of a big breaking news event, “is to provide full details to the appropriate newsdesk for use in AP services if the desk isn’t tuned in already”.

But once they have informed the newsdesk and taken care of “any other immediate AP work” they are now “free to tweet or post information about the news development” on Twitter.

Previously the guidance, which was last updated in January, said that content needed to move on to the wires first.

AP’s social media editor Eric Carvin told this has now been replaced with a “more detailed breakdown of what to do in different circumstances”.

This includes a clarification that the live-tweeting of a public, live broadcast news event that could be followed by anyone “is fine”, Carvin said.

In the case of big breaking news stories, providing they are not exclusive, once the newsdesk has been informed and if the journalist is not required to write the story, then they are free to tweet about it.

As for exclusive content, the guidelines state that “AP news services must have the opportunity to publish exclusive text, photo and video material before it appears on social networks”.

“Once that material has been published, staffers are welcome to tweet and post a link to it on AP or subscriber platforms”.

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