Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Have Been Warned

It seems those naughty journo's just can't keep their opinions to themselves. According to an article published in The Australian (Jackson, S 12/10/09, MEAA calls to spell out blogging policies), a Brisbane sub-editor was sacked for his loose-lipped comments about the paper published on his own personal blog. Apparently, the former employee is 'astonished' to have lost his job as a result and feels that a warning would have been much more appropriate. However, according to the editor of the newspaper concerned, 'There is no way, as a newspaper editor, I could entertain that I was paying for someone to sub copy - which implies they're improving it - while they're using their time to go on the internet and criticise the copy'.

I can't help but agree with the newspaper editor here - such behaviour is indefensible on a number of levels. Firstly, bad-mouthing your employer in the public domain whatever the circumstances is a recipe for disaster. You risk irrepairable damage to your credibility, and due to the public nature of the display this will have ramifications for gaining future employment within the same industry as well. Secondly, using the Internet for non-work related matter is a waste of employers' time and money, akin to having a smoke and fag out the front when you should be working. This scenario is no different to the employee being discovered conducting a personal phone conversation bad-mouthing the company when he should be working. Such behaviour is not condoned in any workplace and no sane employee would allow themselves to be caught by the boss engaging in such conduct. In this day and age, one has to assume that anything broadcast in the public domain of the Internet will eventually make its way back to the boss. Therefore, the rule of thumb is - if you wouldn't say it out loud don't put it online. You have been warned...

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