A regional daily’s campaign for councils to allow tweeting from meetings has seen success after two authorities agreed a new social media policy.
The Daily Post in North Wales launched its Right to Tweet campaign in January after Wrexham County Borough Council prevented reporter Steve Bagnall from tweeting at a meeting.
The move has been welcomed by the paper, which said it would boost transparency, and follows a decision by North Wales Fire Authority to allow social media at meetings.
Executive editor Andy Gilpin said: “This is great news as we continue our Right to Tweet campaign.
“The endorsement of social media use from both meetings of North Wales Fire Authority and now Flintshire council shows those in authority are finally catching up.
“Allowing the press and public to openly report what they hear in these public forums is a true step for transparency in our democratic process.”
A survey of editors published by the Newspaper Society this week found that the number of local newspapers using Twitter to report from public meetings has nearly tripled in three years – 57pc in 2013 compared to 21pc in 2010.
The paper hopes other councils will follow suit and Wrexham County Borough Council is due to decide its social media policy by the end of May.
The protocol approved by Flintshire councillors allows tweets and social media updates but with a code of conduct saying the meeting’s business should not be affected and councillors should give due attention to the debates.
At the Flintshire County Council meeting where the policy was approved, chief executive Colin Everett said the authority had been in discussions with the other five North Wales councils to roll out the protocol.
He said: “There has been some coverage about this over the last few months and whether the public can use Twitter or Facebook to give their own view of what is happening.
“We have worked with the other five North Wales local authorities to present a version of this protocol to their AGMS. And we should do this together because we need to become more modern.”