I am often asked how a journalist can use Twitter, facebook or other social media networks while walking the line of being unbiased, yet personable. To me the answer is simple. Be smart when you use these networks

When I share my experiences on the news desk I always make the source of the information clear. I never give an opinion on a story or hot button issues like politics and religion. However I am always me. I let my personality come out and I share some aspects of my personal life, like being a step mom and my garden adventures. I comment on and relate with what is being shared by others. I am a part of a community.  I can't be a part of any community if I only take and not give back and participate.

I answered a question @mychiller posted on Twitter. What does Twitter mean to you?

Twitter is a tool, a resource to find & to share content. It's networking. It's conversations & relationships..

I had to leave the news desk in the middle of a shift this week after receiving a call from my doctors office with the report negative results on some lab tests. Many who follow me on Twitter know my schedule and know I will share the newsroom with them through the 10pm news. I couldn't just leave without a word. So I posted a Tweet letting everyone know I was leaving for the day.

By the time I drove home I had received a few direct messages and several replies of concern. The words of everyone who shared support and prayers was touching. Their messages helped lift my spirits.

It's obvious I've created relationships with many through Twitter and facebook. Have I stepped over a line as a journalist? NO. I don't know how to say this without sounding conceited, but I think I've opened a door that many journalists and media outlets have locked tight. By sharing and showing I am human, with emotions, personal faults and more I have brought human back to my little part of this industry. I can only see good in that. You?