Social Media Policies in U.S. Television Newsrooms: Changes over Time

Anthony C. Adornato, Allison Frisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study analyzes survey data, gathered in 2014 and 2020, regarding local television newsrooms’ social media policies (SMPs). The purpose of the study is to explore changes to these policies. As part of this inquiry, the researchers investigate if and in which ways newsroom SMPs are evolving in four areas: journalists’ professional and personal social media activities; social media sources and content; audience complaints; and ownership of on-air talents’ accounts. The researchers found a significant increase of guidelines regarding what is and is not appropriate on the professional and personal social media of journalists, with little distinction made between these types of accounts. Although newsrooms have implemented policies to articulate what is appropriate conduct and a majority have revised policies, those guidelines don't always address the contemporary issues journalists face, specifically online threats and verification of user-generated content. The researchers found an increasing percentage of news outlets retain ownership of on-air talents’ professional accounts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-226
Number of pages20
JournalElectronic News
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • broadcast journalism
  • guidelines
  • journalistic routines
  • newsroom policies
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication


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