First Aid Kit: Social Media Card

Election SOS First Aid Kit: Social Media


Many Americans will get their news from social media this election. Unfortunately, mis- and disinformation love social media. In this roundup, we highlight tips and resources to help social media editors cut through the noise.

Establish a plan

  • First, read Joy Mayer’s article in Poynter for its comprehensive approach to social media.
  • Next, create a list of questions you predict readers will have and draft some responses.
  • Then, identify your newsroom’s area of expertise and stick to it. If you know local news well, cover local news. Now is not the time to switch lanes.
  • After that, make sure you have a plan to monitor your comments section.
    • Bear in mind that readers may comment on your piece in response to other pieces in their newsfeeds.
    • Be prepared to respond to any misinformation with facts.
    • Ensure that your staff this part of the newsroom appropriately.
  • Finally, make sure you know how to use a sensitive language.

Gather your resources

Prep Your Audience

  • The best thing you can do is set expectations early and reinforce reliable information often.
  • Make sure you’re putting your audience first.
  • Then, encourage readers to take control over their own social feeds. This Washington Post article helps readers understand how to navigate social media.
  • Lastly, encourage readers to take breaks and consult primary sources rather than tweets!

Next Steps: