Wednesday, February 18, 2004

When Journalists Blog, Editors Get Nervous

This Editor & Publisher article takes an interesting look at journalists and blogging, and while the topic has been covered before, this article does a good job of looking at different types of journalist-bloggers (those who blog openly and those who are a bit more covert in their practices) as well as the different editorial positions/policies regarding off-the-job blogging. There is quite a wide range here, and this article points out the differences quite nicely. As with other articles discussing journalists' private blogs or the private blogs of other types of workers, the moral of the story seems to be that your personal, "private" blog is anything but, and as a weblog writer, you've got to be aware of this. Makes sense, but it seems not to have taken hold with some people, still.

Nice snippet on the covert blogger journalists: "Some keep their blogging secret from their managers, or at least try to. They resent being told to live to a standard of near-absolute objectivity even when they're not on company hours."

The author also points out that many media workplaces still do not have policies that specifically address personal weblogs - but suggests taking a look at a new ethics policy due out next week from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

The Poynter policy:

"We ask Poynter employees and contributors to keep their Poynter role in mind as they pursue personal publishing. ... In the case of Poynter employees, Poynter asks that they avoid personal publishing that would compromise their ability to fulfill their Poynter responsibilities in the seminar room or in Poynter publications. Such conflicts would diminish their value to the consumers of Poynter publishing and, as a result, to Poynter."

The author finds the language a good middle ground - I'd tend to agree, though I am sure that there are some who would still find this stifling.

- posted by laurie @ 2/18/2004 04:16:00 AM
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