Guidance On Facebook & ‘NPR Live’

Update on Dec. 26, 2017: This guidance has been replaced. Read more here.

(Editor’s note on July 27, 2017: Click here to go to an updated special section about the do’s and don’t's of social media.)

When a story involves Facebook, when and what do we need to say or write about “NPR Live?”

The best advice is to err on the side of disclosure. When the news is about Facebook’s business or about controversies such as whether it does or does not “suppress” conservative stories, we should say something like this (from a David Folkenflik report):

“Facebook pays NPR and other leading news organizations to produce live video streams that run on the site. The network calls its offerings NPR live.”

Other information that can be added includes the fact that Facebook has “no role in the content of the videos” (a line from NPR Extra). The part of the line about what NPR calls its offerings is certainly optional.

If the story has little or no connection to Facebook’s “business,” such as COO Sheryl Sandberg’s thoughts about the challenge of being a single mother, a line about NPR Live may not be necessary. Senior editors and show executive producers should be making the call, with guidance from the deputy managing editors or standards & practices editor.

(“Memmos;” May 19, 2016)

May 19, 2016

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