Collegian Asks, “To Blog or Not to Blog”
The Collegian (which– April Fools!– I don’t actually want to buy) has been going through an internal discussion regarding its policy on writers and their personal blogs (and, ostensibly, other online presences).
We noticed the ramifications of the internal discussion when one Collegian editor launched, shut down, and then relaunched a blog in the course of a few days last week. We heard the impetus for the shut down was the Collegian decided the content the editor was producing was too related to that editor’s beat. When the blog was relaunched, the editor said all content related to his beat would have a new home on the Collegian’s own blogs.
<cliche>In today’s rapidly changing media environ, future journalists need to stay current with emerging formats and technologies.</cliche>
I don’t find major fault with the de rigeur Collegian policy– that is, allowing writers to run personal blogs as long as the content doesn’t overlap with their beats– but it is limiting. If I were (still) a Collegian writer, I would be satisfied with that policy as long as the Collegian had a developed blog or set of blogs of its own– something we’ve pushed for before. I suspect this is something we’ll see later rather than sooner.
However, the more interesting question is how does this policy translate to Facebook, Twitter, or any new media du jour? If I write about arts for the Collegian, am I allowed to tweet about events I am covering?
What about putting up a Facebook status like ‘ZOMG Atlas Soundtrack is so good!’ or posting my favorite bands to my Facebook profile?
At what point is the content a Collegian writer produces classified as strictly personal?
Editor-in-Chief Terry Casey told us that he is currently examining the issue and will let OS know if a decision is made. However, after Rossilyne Skena is installed as the Collegian’s new Editor-in-Chief, she will have the right to alter whatever policy Terry settles on.
What do you think? How much control should the paper have on how its writers can use content not created for Collegian?