Why Some Companies Frown on Bloggers

Didja see the article in last week’s USA Today about blogging? I didn’t either until today. (One of the perks of working for a tv station that I miss is the free read of USA Today and Wall Street Journal).

Anyway, the story is about how blogging can get you fired and talks of Peter Whitney, formerly of Wells Fargo, who blogged about work.

Delta Air Lines, Google and other companies have fired and disciplined employees for what they say about work on their blogs. IBM is reported to be having employees sign blogging guidelines to prevent problems. It’s been reported that one reporter was disciplined for posting a comment on a competing reporter’s blog without permission.

I know several Memphis tv people have blogs; meteorologists, anchors, photographers, at least one reporter and one news director. I wonder if others have asked their employer about blogging and were turned down? I wonder if employers have given strict guidelines to their employees with company promoted blogs? I wonder how long before we see more blogs from anchors and reporters? I wonder if they’ll be candid and honest or be more about “what’s great about my station”?

These are dangerous waters to tread. Say too little and the blog will be dismissed as more promotion and tripe. Say too much, be too candid and it could bring trouble. Reporters write scripts every day but those scripts are always (unless they ignore the rule) approved by management. Blogs couldn’t be held to that same order.

I for one would love to read a few candid blogs from reporters but it’ll never happen.

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