Tuesday, February 19, 2008

CNN PRODUCER FIRED FOR BLOGGING

Found out that a guy who worked in the mainstream media as a TV producer, Chez Pazienza , was fired by CNN, just for having a blog. You can find his blog here.

Well, I think this was a pretty draconian move by CNN. I guess this stems from some incident some time ago where some sorry low-level person (intern?) blogged about Anderson Cooper while working for CNN, and she got fired. Well, this guy wasn't blogging about Anderson Cooper, and he still got fired.

Here's what I don't understand. Why didn't they just give this guy a warning that having a blog was against company policy? There are lots of bloggers out there who work for the mainstream media, and they all have blogs. Some of them have blogs through their mainstream media outlets (Paul Wells) but plenty of others have them set up independently (Andrew Coyne comes to my mind, though there are a lot more. And to be honest I don't know if Coyne has some arrangement with his employers or what it is he's got going.)

I know a guy who worked in the mainstream media out in Asia for years for these wire services, and he had his own blog going under his own name for years. He eventually closed it down, though. I don't know whether it was to conform to company policy or whether he simply got tired of it; probably the latter.

Anyway, blogging is the in thing for journalists to do. Yet CNN won't allow one of its own journalists to get in on the same action. It seems like a bit of a double-standard that these bigshot opinion makers and bigshot anchors get to blog, while a behind-the-scenes producer isn't even allowed to spout off once in a while.

What CNN needs to do is tell people clearly what their blog policy is. Personally, what ought to happen is CNN should allow blogs by their journalists and figure out a way to accommodate them. At the very least, they should have given him the opportunity to shut down his blog so he could keep his own job. I think it's really unreasonable to simply jettison a guy without giving him the opportunity to close down his blog to conform to company policy.

Anyway, just so you all know --- if I get a job with CNN, I'll have to close down this blog. Goodbye to box office updates, news about TV and movies, pictures of NFL cheerleaders, and rants about Donald Trump. As Uncle Walter Cronkite said, that's the way it is.

In fact, I am beginning to think having a blog is more trouble than it is worth and this CNN incident is yet another example of that.

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