Michael Taggart

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I have received an illuminating response to my post on regional newpaper giant Newsquest’s new ‘social networking policy’ – from the company’s ‘managing director, digital media’, Roger Green.

In that post, I accused Newquest of potentially turning its excellent tweeting reporters into rule breakers with its ‘retrograde diktats’. The policy was shelved within 48 hours.

When I enquired whether this had been a result of the furore it caused, Mr Green emailed me to say that he hadn’t seen the policy but its critics were guilty of mischievous “Newsquest-bashing spin”.

Oddly, he defended the document using words that were nearly identical to those used by blog trolls ‘Morrow666’ and ‘Doris Archer’ here and here. I wonder how Morrow and Doris could have been so well acquainted with the company line?

I print his entire response here and my response below that:

Yesterday, I criticised the newly-imposed social media policy of a major UK media group, saying it risked turning its reporters into rule-breakers overnight.

Now it turns out Newsquest, the firm that has imposed the restrictive diktat, has another reason to worry about its languid approach.

**UPDATE ON 12/8/11, 12.15pm**

The blog post below questions the wisdom of Newsquest’s new ‘social networking policy’, which rules out many of the productive online practices of its journalists. I have just heard that Newsquest has SHELVED the policy in response to the outrage it caused among its own journalists this week. I have emailed managing director Roger Green and James Trudgian, head of audience development, to ask if this is true and why the policy has been withdrawn. I will update again when I have the company’s official response.