Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A bit harsh in Tulsa

The Tulsa World has issued a new e-mail, Web use and blogging policy (PDF) for its employees (see also SNPA summary), and while it has the usual boilerplate about not doing it on company time, and how e-mail and the like done on company computers is company property, one part seems misguided at best:

Do not link or otherwise refer to the company website without obtaining the written permission of the Director of Human Resources.
Is there a little paranoia here? So if I work for Tulsa and the paper does a really good job on a story and I'd like to point it out, I have to ask permission from human resources? Seems a bit counterproductive, yes?

The company also mandates this be put on all personal Web logs: “The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.”

Sure, that's just common sense and not a bad idea. And while the no-linkback policy might also prevent some derogatory links, taken together what all this really seems to shout is: We Don't Trust You!

Tulsa has shown before that it doesn't quite understand all this blogging stuff. Might be time to take some of those mellow pills and at least make the language less like an edict.


At 6/28/06, 9:25 AM, Blogger Mindy McAdams said...

And I'm wondering ... is the director of human resources a journalist? Are we to understand that a newspaper would prefer that a human resources executive make decisions about journalism -- instead of the staff journalists?

At least their journalists are permitted to have blogs. I've heard rumors that in some shops, it's forbidden for journalists to have outside blogs of their own, even about hobby subjects. (I haven't confirmed that yet.)

At least one Florida newspaper has an official blogging policy (in writing) that they have refused to make public to anyone outside the paper. I asked for a copy. I was told that only those on staff may see it. Great public communication, yes?


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