Stick To The Facts In Any Posts, Tweets Or Comments About Funding News

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.  

There may be news in coming days about federal funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That’s not a prediction. It’s just an acknowledgement. If it happens, that would put NPR and NPR member stations in the news as well.

Just as we don’t participate in marches or rallies, don’t contribute to political campaigns and do not express our political opinions on social media, we should not be jumping into the middle of a debate about federal funding for public media. (We wouldn’t step into the debates over federal funding for defense, education or anything else, after all.)

If NPR journalists post opinions on social media or show up in other outlets’ news reports making critical comments, this news organization’s credibility will be compromised.

Jarl Mohn, Mike Riksen and others on the business side are making the case for public broadcasting. Member stations are making the case in their communities.

Meanwhile, some of NPR’s journalists will be covering the story. If others here weigh in with their opinions, the credibility of those NPR journalists’ work could be questioned.

We can, of course, post about the facts without opining. What types of things are OK?

- Links to any stories NPR does.

- Links to news reports from other credible outlets.

- Links to any “fact sheets” or similar materials put out by those on both sides of the issue. That includes this page about “Public Radio Finances.”

Obviously, we all care about the financial health of public media. The best thing we can do is to do our work as best we can — and that means showing we can treat news that affects NPR as we would any other story.

(“Memmos;” March 1, 2017)

March 1, 2017

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