When I joined Facebook three years ago, I noticed that very few mainstream journalists had joined the crowd. After talking with a few of them, I learned why. Here were the reasons they gave:
1. I don’t want to expose my personal life to my work colleagues, boss, and the public.
2. My boss won’t let me join Facebook.
3. My station blocks Facebook, and I can’t access it remotely.
4. I can’t maintain journalistic integrity and have opinions about the news of the day.
Those barriers are falling one by one.
Personal vs. professional
Most professionals have found that there is such a thing as a “work/life” balance on Facebook. At least they learned to enjoy Facebook, while realizing that being a journalist in the public domain means they have to watch what they say.
Most of my journalist friends post pictures of their kids, talk about where they might eat dinner, and complain about being tired or sick—just as the rest of us do. Guess what. They’re human; it makes them more credible, not less.
Mainstream media news directors are finally hopping aboard the social media train