Maintaining a professional persona on social media as a journalist

One of the first things that I learned in journalism school was how to look presentable on all social media outlets. This is clearly important considering the modern media landscape where news and information is transmitted to the masses through the Internet.

I think that the problem with this is that often times aspiring and even established journalists filter their thoughts on social media in such a way that tweets and other posts are almost robotic.

All journalism has a certain creative aspect, and creative work does not come from boring people. I think its absurd when journalists only post links to their articles and to other news stories.

It’s important to show a commitment to news and the media but still show interest in other things.

If you’re funny, be funny. If you like music, talk about music. With that being said, if your humor is highly offensive then maybe it shouldn’t be on the Internet at all regardless of whether you are a journalist.

I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that you should come across as someone who can make educated and interesting comments about a variety of subjects.

I also don’t think its necessary to omit all information about personal whereabouts. Use the following example as a quick guide to what is and is not ok:

NO: Gettin’ turnt at da club AGAIN LOL
YES: Enjoying a nice day trip to the beach with some close friends.

I hope the difference between the two is evident.

If you’re over 21, it’s probably okay to mention having a beer or a glass of wine, so long as these posts aren’t gracing your page on the daily.

Things get really hairy when considering what type of pictures are okay to post. If you’re in college, I don’t think that anyone is naïve enough to think that you don’t “go out” every now and then; but posting pictures weekend after weekend of you clutching red solo cups is not going to look good. At all.

So be yourself, and show potential employers and readers how fun you really are. Just make sure your social media presence isn’t advertising: “I am trash.”

Here is an interesting article about the presence of journalists on Twitter in general.

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