New social media guidelines for Caribbean journalists

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Dec 5, CMC – New social media guidelines for Caribbean journalists and media practitioners were launched on Tuesday with public the United Kingdom-based Public Media Alliance (PMA) warning that social media can no longer be ignored.
The PMA, which is the largest global association of public service broadcasters, launched the “Social Media guidelines” in collaboration with the UNESCO Caribbean Cluster Office.
“Social media can’t be ignored and it can no longer be an afterthought, it is now an integral part of the output for any 21st century media house. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, are all platforms where citizens seek information and news.
“To survive and thrive, established media companies need to embrace social media platforms as an intrinsic part of their daily editorial, production & commissioning processes. Public broadcasters and established media houses have a reputation for trust and credibility, these new guidelines ensure that journalists use the same principles when using social media platforms,” said the PMA, whose members are the organisations that communicate daily and free of charge through television, radio and online.
The PMA, formerly the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, has a long tradition of producing editorial guidelines for broadcast journalists.
It said many of the basic rules still apply to social media but new media technologies also require new rules and guidance.
With funding from the UNESCO Caribbean Cluster Office and the Jamaica-based RJR Gleaner Communications Group and support from the Barbados-based Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU),  CBU, the PMA said it worked with media professionals in the Caribbean to develop the new guidelines for social media use by professional journalists.
“These new Social Media Guidelines were initially developed during a three-day workshop, supported by the UNESCO Caribbean Cluster Office, with inputs and feedback from media professionals and organisations in the Caribbean.
“Adopting a clear set of agreed and published guidelines will aid in the protection of media professionals, media companies and social media users”.
The PMA said that it has frequently been asked for guidance as new technologies are evolving the way public service broadcasters communicate with their audiences.
“It is to meet this demand that these guidelines have been produced. The hope is that the guidelines will help new and existing broadcasters in the Caribbean to identify the essential ways in which public service broadcasting and its characteristics can be preserved and strengthened, within the context of emerging technologies and social platforms.”

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