Friday, February 15, 2008

To blog or not to blog...

The New York Times is reporting that CNN senior producer Chez Pazienza was fired for blogging.

Pazienza said CNN fired him for violating journalistic standards through his blog Deus Ex Malcontent. CNN's response thus far, other than declining to comment about personnel matters, has been to cite company policy forbidding employees from writing for a non-CNN outlet without permission.

Readers can form their own opinion about the Pazienza case from reading his posts. But the case raises some interesting questions for people in our own profession:

  • At what point do our ethics as communications professionals and our right to express ourselves outside the workplace conflict?
  • Is blogging itself an inherently career-endangering activity, or is it a matter of the appropriateness of the content?
  • Blogging and other technological innovations make it much easier for people to express themselves without taking pause. Do the same standards applied to people in our profession regarding letters to the editor apply to blogs and the like?
Your thoughts?

5 comments:

Gene Rose said...

You raise some great questions.

CJCregg said...

I've seen politicos ruined by their personal blogs.

I think the problem with blogging in our profession is that you can wind up being quoted based on a blog comment.

As a result I have chosen not to respond to stuff on The Thicket that I felt needed some explanation. I have, however, been convinced by Meagan to respond to a separate item on The Thicket.

Mitch McCartney said...

I must admit, I have been amazed at how casual some have treated blogs and other communication tools. Mainstream media has taken to quoting blog posts, in some cases, without even attributing who made the statement.

I think blogs can be a powerfully effective communications tools, but people have to remember that it's all out there in the public eye.

rmax362 said...

Honestly, this is a great topic. It gives me a great thought. We have discussed the idea of creating a LINCS certification curriculum that legislative information officers could complete over a couple of years at our PDS. Maybe we should consider a kind of professional code of conduct or "Pirates Code" (they're actually more like guidelines) for LINCsters. Wonder where, in Louisville, we could work in an informal discussion of best practices with regard to blogging.

Like I posted under my psuedonym before, I have seen political hacks and flaks be ruined by the stuff they wrote on myspace. My current boss is a stickler for staff not being quoted.

It seems like it would be beneficial for legislative communications professionals to find a happy medium between being too loose with our fingers and being absent from the blogosphere. A good code of conduct developed by a professional organization could be very helpful.

Like the way I think up more work for everybody? Thought so.

Mitch McCartney said...

C.J. Cregg, huh... I'll leave my comments to myself.