TIME’s own Tuned In maestro James Poniewozik does what literary theorists like to call a “close reading” of the Wall Street Journal’s policy on employee Twitter use. I’d bet my lunch money that no TIME editor reviewed his logic before he posted it, just as no one reviewed this repost. Or this tweet. (The horror! The fear!)
* “Don’t discuss articles that haven’t been published, meetings you’ve attended or plan to attend with staff or sources, or interviews that you’ve conducted.” [I’m constantly Tweeting about shows I plan to review, columns I’m planning to write, or tossing around ideas for topics I might work on.]
* “Let our coverage speak for itself, and don’t detail how an article was reported, written or edited.” [Ditto. I do this even more often on this blog. In fact, I kind of think that’s what this blog is for. Among other things, it’s the DVD director’s cut with commentary of my TIME work.]
* “Don’t disparage the work of colleagues or competitors…” [I suppose this post itself would count as that] “…or aggressively promote your coverage” [Huh? I’m not sure I know a journo online who doesn’t post links to his/her work–and if you follow a journo on Twitter, why would you not want them to link their work?]
* “All postings on Dow Jones sites that may be controversial or that deal with sensitive subjects need to be cleared with your editor before posting.” [Granted, I’m not a straight-news reporter, but this would nix, say, my tweeting about Miss California.]
* “Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter…” [No more tweeting about mustard!]
* “… Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending.” [As I tweeted yesterday, I would pay good money to watch some WSJ reporter annoy an overworked editor with a request like this. That’s a good way to get a keyboard thrown at you.]
All that said, there is a case to be made that some at the New York Times have taken Twitter freedom a tad too far.