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News Personalities and Social Media


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Made this thread mainly so I can respond to this question posed by rkolsen and I know I've brought the topic up in the past:

With the rise of social media we get to see different sides of our news anchors, reporters and meteorologists. My question for you is do you think it's appropriate for television news personalities to post pictures of themselves in bikinis or men shirtless on their news/professional twitter or Instagram accounts?

My response:


Well, if they don't want you to see it, then they would make their Instagrams and Twitter accounts private. If they leave it public, then they assume that risk. And for many, their "news/professional" social accounts double as their personal one. There's some news people I see who have two Twitters, one's a "social/personal" account and the other one is the "news/professional" account. Most times both are public accounts. I tend to see the social ones followed more than the professional ones. Take that assessment for what it's worth.


Yes you might get the pervert who says "Nice bikini, (insert name here)." I've seen the reporters handle them in very different ways. Most often the pervs are just ignored. But some will actually "like" or +1 the comment which is dumb IMO, it just feeds in to their thoughts and encourages them to do it. One said "I'm not so sure about that but thanks for the feedback". A lot of is personal judgment on the part of the reporter, age of the personality in question, and even the company social media policy and newsroom management.


Personally if I was a reporter I wouldn't post pics of myself shirtless because it damages my credibility and honestly who cares? But like I said some of the younger ones right out of school don't exercise the best judgment...


Well, then again Geraldo Rivera is not right out of school and he posted a shirtless pic that Fox wasn't happy with. If you really want to see it Google it.


I think Facebook is the only one where you have to have a personal one to manage the professional one. But as I stay far away from Facebook I'm not sure about that. A local meteorologist here in town just allows viewers to friend their personal page instead of having a professional FB page...


To sum it up, it's a very blurry line and some stations have more concrete and stricter policies than others. A way to tell is if the handles have some type of standardized handle. Like at KGTV, all of the anchors have a handle along the lines of "@10News_Name". And then I've seen personalities who have some of the most unprofessional handles for their personal page (which like I've said, their personal often doubles as their professional).

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If John/Jane Reporter is on vacation, running a marathon, spending time with the family at the pool, etc, and they are in some state of undress, then it's fine by me. The moment they start posting selfies and "look at me" shots, that's where I draw the line. Yes, I admit that that's hard to put into words, but I think you could get my point. I agree with sanewsguy in that it's a very blurry line, and it's ultimately the reporter's judgement and the boss' authority that determines what's appropriate or not.

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  • 1 month later...

I've also noticed a few foreign producers (mainly at the BBC) seem to follow porn stars and pornographic websites on their professional twitter accounts. For some it's not like one or two "fluke" follows where the person may know said "star" but rather 10 with out having to scroll down the page. I know a producer has a level of anonymity in public but when you identify as a member of a news organization you need to be careful. Call me crazy but I would have created a second account that's does not mention my work to follow said twitter users.


I haven't seen any US based journalists follow similar users on twitter but maybe it's an observational bias.

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  • 2 years later...

I apologize for the bump:


Shouldn't twitter accounts that either do not have the station in their username or do not indicate on their page that it is the station's account have a disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are those of the individual and not of their employer?

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