Keith Perch , editor of the Leicester Mercury, asks on his blog if social media used by journalists in a professional capacity should come under the remit of the Press Complaints Commission. He says that journalists on the Mercury have a requirement to abide by the Editors' Code, which undepins the work of the PCC, written into their contracts. But he adds:"However, it's not quite clear how the PCC code relates to our online work and particularly to the use of social media sites by our journalists." Perch says he is concerned about professional usage of social media by journalists rather than personal usage, where the Leicester Mercury is not mentioned. He adds: " I believe that any use of social media sites (including Twitter) in a professional capacity (ie where the member of staff links their usage directly to their job) should be treated in the same way as a column of the newspaper. "As a columnist, the journalist gets far more freedom and is able to express an opinion. However, as a columnist their work is subject to my editing. I reserve the right to edit their posts. In practice, I never see their posts until after they have been published, but staff know that I am reviewing them and, therefore, I believe, they take this into consideration before publication. "I have not had to intervene in any posts so far. I regularly read all staff blogs and have a ‘list’ of Mercury journalists set up on Twitter and I review their posts every day. It follows from this that I would be happy for the professional usage to fall within the PCC’s remit." Perch is asking for views on the issue his blog.
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