The danger of always being accessible
New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt writes for Sunday’s paper about what social network and the paper’s videocast of its editor’s meetings means to its perception and uses the example of a business reporter posting Tweets about her frustration at a Toyota Motors press conference as an example.
Hoyt writes, “Hiroko Tabuchi, who said she knew the guidelines, nonetheless let frustration get the better of her on March 29, when she attended a news conference by Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota. Her string of tweets about the event was first reported by The Nytpicker, an anonymous Web site that focuses on The Times.
“With less than three hours of sleep, Tabuchi wrote, she had to get up at 6 a.m. ‘We love you Mr. Toyoda!’ After the news conference, she wrote that Toyoda took few questions and ‘ignored reporters, incl me who tried to ask a follow-up. I’m sorry, but Toyota sucks.’
“Lawrence Ingrassia, the business editor, said reporters have always complained to one another, about irritations at work, sometimes vividly, but when they do it ‘to the world, live, I think it’s unacceptable.’ I would have pulled Tabuchi from the Toyota story, but Ingrassia said he decided not to because what she wrote indicated she was upset with the company’s press arrangements, not prejudiced against it or its products. He said he saw no bias in her reporting and had received no complaints about it.
“Tabuchi said: ‘The banter on Twitter is often very casual and forces us to economize on words. That can be perilous. But the last thing I’d want is collegial banter and humor to affect perceptions of our coverage.'”
Read more here.