And you thought the AP Style Guide was strict

The Associated Press is warning its employees: watch what you post on Facebook.  The company that gives us all the fourth-grade-reading-level news that’s fit to print wants to make sure its reputation isn’t tarnished by the private lives of its employees.

Given current realities, this is probably a good idea: AP’s value as a company is based on its credibility.  As private lives become more public in digital environments, the chances of something extremely offensive or embarassing being posted increases.

On the other hand, there’s something to be said for transparency.  Mashable mentioned on a recent post about journalism and new media that reporters’ social network presences allow us to see their personal biases, which in turn gives us the grain of salt we need to take along with anything they write.

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