Pressiquette and tips for journalists on Reddit

Yesterday I outlined three different “types” of journalists in my story “The role of the journalist in the big, bad world of Reddit,” and prescribed ways for journalists enthusiastic about the platform’s possibilities to play within the rules.

Among my recommendations for the platform: listen and engage, be transparent with who you are, and be a person first and journalist second.

These tips, echoed by Boston journalists Dan Adams and Garrett Quinn in my story, are backed up by Reddit’s own Director of Communications, Victoria Taylor, who has been a vocal advocate for journalists using Reddit in a transparent way.

Taylor works with community managers, journalists and media organizations on Reddit. In August, Taylor and the Reddit team published “Pressiquette,” clear guidelines for journalists on the platform. The guidelines include:

  • When using content found on Reddit, contact the uploader to ask for permission to use the content and ask for guidance for proper attribution.
  • Understand the rules of the subreddit you’re on.
  • Be transparent about who you are, if you’re acting in a journalistic capacity
  • Never pass around a link to your co-workers, family or friends to upvote.

Taylor came to WGBH in October to discuss how journalists and other media professionals can be using the platform. Here are my favorite tips from her trip:

  • AMAs are the only editorial opportunity you have on Reddit. AMAs don’t have to be big names – they can be anyone as long as they bring a unique perspective or experience
  • Reddit live allows you to curate content, in a live blog format. It’s good for events and breaking news situations.
  • You must function under the rules of each individual subreddit. Each subreddit has its own rules and it is up to you to respect them. If you have your own subreddit, you can control that and what the rules are.
  • Never ask people submit content on your behalf.
  • If you’re going to be commenting on links on behalf of your program or series, be transparent by creating a professional account like “toryWGBH.” Engage in a gradual way and don’t jump in on a conversation topic. Even if you’re adding value to the conversation, it will not be appreciated.

(Note: My full notes from Taylor’s WGBH visit can be found here.)

One final note. After I published yesterday’s story, AP assistant sports editor Oskar Garcia contacted me on Twitter, and had some great points about self-promotion on Reddit.

  • Reddit AMAs are in fact an accepted form of “self-promotion” on Reddit
  • Some smaller subreddits welcome self-promoting content if done right or in a relevant way. (H cited  /r/fantasyfootball and /r/hiphopheads as examples)
  • Sometimes a good tactic is to post on Reddit as a “self-post.” This is blatant, but you earn respect by not being self-promotional in a sneaky way.

Here is more information on self-promotion on Reddit.

I appreciated Garcia’s points and encourage others to continue the conversation about how journalists can use and work within the platform in the best and most constructive ways possible.

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