Social networks

Social networks have become one of the major places to collect opinions, data and news. Individuals and organisations may access the information of interest even faster anytime they need it. Numerous celebrities, politicians, parties, companies, athletes, media and journalists may be reached any moment through computers, mobile phones or tablets.

Information users are offered a possibility of a direct, two-way contact with journalists and media, bringing opportunities for discussion and continued life cycle of news. However, the limit between the private and public is rather unclear on social networks as published messages may quickly exceed the circle of recipients who were originally intended to receive them. This very open ecosystem includes a strong potential for messages to reach a very high number of addressees, which also means a higher risk exposure. Therefore, publishing and collecting information on social networks should respect the principles of accuracy, truthfulness, transparency, verifiability, authenticity and independence. The same refers to comments under primary publications.

Journalists using social networks to publish their stories are bound by ethical and moral codes applying to work in journalistic departments, bearing the same responsibility. It should also be always clear who is the author of the information and who gave a statement. Publications and comments may express opinions whereas personal feelings should be avoided.

A journalist should not use social networks to promote his personal interests without disclosing such fact to the public. This limitation resembles the limitation between the advertising activity of a media organisation and journalistic contents.

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