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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Telling us how to paint our face

Reader-submitted question: Doesn't CBC's blogging policy only apply if you can be identified as a CBC employee?

Yes. Now the question becomes whether a person can be identified as a CBC employee. There are really dangerous implications here for all bloggers. This is a corporation that exists in large part to promote freedom of speech.

Please take a look at some examples:

  • Robin states in several places on his main page that he's a CBC employee. His profile links to the CBC Blogging Manifesto.

  • Cin's now a freelancer, but she was a permanent employee until a few months ago.

  • Tod runs the official CBC blog but has a blog of his own on the side.

  • Paul often writes about life at work.

  • Susan works for Info AM, just a few steps away from my old desk at CBC Halifax, and blogged about her summer here in town.
Come now, guys: Which of these people is expressing the views of CBC/Radio-Canada? Please tell me right now who in their right mind would ever think that Paul's musings on used Kleenex would be an official message from CBC's head office. Personal blogs are personal blogs. The idiots at Fort Dork need to spend more time investing in quality journalism and less time trying to monitor their employees' personal lives.

I see no significant difference between Guidelines 1.0 and Guidelines 2.0. I also don't see anyone other than CBC management suggesting that employees' Facebook pages are representing the MotherCorp. Yes, there will be the occasional idiot who steps way over the line and needs to be pulled back. You deal with that guy by facing the problem head-on, not by telling all of the staff to put disclaimers on all of the comments they post to their friends' blogs.

Now, hands up: Who wants to guess where I work? I've never said where I spend my days, but you could figure it out if you put your mind to it. You could say the same about just about every blogger. Even when we're careful, there are always clues about our day jobs on our blogs. We're upset about the new carpets, or we have a few too many friends who know a lot about beekeeping, or we know a little too much about vaccination, or we take an unusual interest in grammar. At what point is a person identified as a CBC employee? This is a slippery slope. It also really bothers me that CBC management would be leading any charge to gag employees. They should be fighting to defend freedom of speech, even speech they don't personally like.


A. said...

I can't speak for everybody else, but I've always liked to pretend that you work in Hawaii. It would be nice to think that at least SOMEBODY is enjoying decent weather.

Megan said...

I pretend the same thing. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that the weather here is much worse than the weather almost all of my readers are experiencing. (I haven't forgotten Phil M.: I spent a few years there, too!)