Who owns a journalist’s Twitter account? That’s the central question in the case of Laura Kuenssberg and her former employer, the BBC.
Kuenssberg, BBC’s former chief political correspondent, was poached by ITV, a rival broadcaster in the U.K. Laura built up a Twitter following of more than 60,000 in the last couple of years working for the BBC. Her Twitter account was @BBCLauraK
, but as soon as she joined ITV she changed it to @ITVLauraK.
ITV told the Financial Times
that Kuenssberg’s Twitter following was “an additional benefit” to hiring her as it will help extend the network’s reach on social media. FT
, meanwhile, said the BBC was “magnanimous” about the loss.
“We’re still developing our overall policy but for now we’re approaching individual accounts on a case by case basis,” a BBC rep told FT
Who do you think owns such a Twitter account: the individual or the organization? It’s a question that will continue to nag at media companies and corporations.