Radio/TV Services Social Media Policy for Staff
Our goal, as public stations, is to provide unbiased information to the communities we serve. We try to help people understand more about the world around them. It is critical that WTIU/WFIU be perceived as neutral. As identified staff of WTIU/WFIU or the larger Radio/TV division, you should keep this duty in mind through all contact with the public.
We believe in the value of social media and support the efforts of our staff to interact more with our audience. Recognizing that staff participate in social media activities through various online networks and blogs, we support employee engagement in this area and expect them to exercise sound judgment when doing so. RTV employees should be responsible in their use of social media sites. As identified staff, your interactions and activities on social media networks affect WTIU/WFIU’s reputation and brand. You represent the stations and our mission.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Here are your responsibilities when participating in any social media platform.
- Everyone is personally responsible for content they post on blogs, chats, social networks, forums and other user-generated content sites. Whatever you publish is public and will remain public (and searchable) for a long time.
- Be mindful of your association with the stations. If you identify yourself as a WTIU/WFIU employee, you must ensure your profile and content are consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues and the public.
- RTV encourages employees to post information related to programs on social media platforms. This type of promotion is an extremely valuable way to encourage our viewers to engage with our programming.
- Employees must recognize that they can always easily be associated with the WTIU/WFIU brands. As a general rule, employees should consider the impact their social media comments may have on the stations. If you participate in a discussion on controversial public issues, you should do so as an individual and not as a representative of the stations or RTV. If you engage on a controversy involving the stations, be sure to identify yourself as an RTV employee.
- Exercise common sense. Refrain from postings that can be interpreted as slurs, personal insults, demeaning language or engaging in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the workplace. Employees should consider others’ privacy and should avoid topics that may be considered objectionable—such as politics or religion.
RTV believes that blogs and other forms of online speech are important forms of communication with our audiences. To maintain the quality and consistency of our brand, any staff member who communicates officially on behalf of WTIU/WFIU in any social media forum or platform or posts on any of our pages should be sure to comply with the following:
- Be respectful of the audience. If you wouldn’t put it on air or have it printed on the front page, then don’t post it online.
- Employees who post content on behalf of WTIU/WFIU as part of their jobs must always identify themselves.
- Anyone posting on RTV media sites or any other official social media pages must uphold the values and mission of our stations and should coordinate with his/her manager.
- Don’t pick fights, do be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
- Always add value. Provide information that is worthwhile. Our brand is an important asset. Whatever you publish will have affect our brand.
Personal Social Media Accounts:
Nothing on the Web is private. So, even on recreational or cultural sites and even if what we’re doing is not identified as coming from someone at RTV, understand that what we say and do could still reflect on the stations. Try to do nothing that could undermine our credibility, damage our standing as an impartial source of news, or otherwise hurt our reputation.
The line between private and public activity has been blurred by social media outlets. Information from a Facebook page, blog entries, and tweets — even if they’re intended to be personal messages to friends or family — can be easily circulated beyond the intended audiences. The content, therefore, represents WTIU/WFIU to the outside world, as do our radio and TV pieces and stories. This applies to the people and organizations we choose to “friend” or “like” online as well. Those are content choices as much as a message or blog post.
You are entitled to your own viewpoints but staff should refrain from advocating for political or other polarizing issues online. This extends to joining online groups or using social media in any form (including your Facebook page or a personal blog). Don’t express personal views on a political or other controversial issue that you could not put on the air. Your simple participation in some online groups could imply that you endorse their views. Consider whether you can accomplish your purposes by just observing a group’s activity, rather than becoming a member.
This policy applies to all RTV staff who post content on hosted sites and social media even when you may not be acting officially on behalf of the organization. Employees who violate these policies may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Employees should direct questions regarding this policy to the Executive Director.