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Sourcing Social Media Ups Risk of Getting It Wrong

Study shows 40% of stations don't have policies for vetting info from social media

TV stations are increasing their chances of getting their stories wrong, primarily by sourcing social media without having proper policies in place to vet it, a new Ithaca College study finds.

The study, conducted by associate journalism professor Anthony Adornato, shows 40% of affiliates don’t have procedures governing the use of information gleaned from social media. One-third of participating news directors said their stations have aired such information that turned out to be false or inaccurate.

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At the same time, however, stations are increasingly relying on social media to find stories, the study finds. Popular, or trending, stories and topics on social media are a significant factor in affiliates choosing what to cover.