DENVER POST REPORTER Michael Booth wrote a comment on a recent post asking about the need and/or expectations for staffers to use social media for work when they’re off the clock. It’s an important issue, and I would like to use his comment as a jumping-off point for a discussion:
As employees both desire and feel pressure to expand their digital work and presence, through Facebook, Twitter, DPO, etc., we are fast becoming not just a 24-hour operation, but 24-hour employees. Am I working overtime when I Tweet my stories from home to make sure they get seen? Do supervisors expect us to be at our desk filing breaking news 9 hours a day, and then available to do the same for 12 more hours at home?
And as we expand sources of revenue, what are the rights and responsibilities associated with things like e-books and other projets? Will employees share in the new revenue? Are they expected to work on those projects on their own time, or on company time? Do employees have the right to use material generated during work hours to seek personal opportunities in e-books or other formats, if the company is not interested in producing those themselves?
This is something the Guild is planning to address during bargaining.
In the meantime, let’s get a discussion going. Do you “work Tweet” when you’re off the clock? Do you feel pressure to do so? Or is social media so integrated into your life that there’s no real distinction between your work and personal use of Twitter and Facebook, and that’s fine by you?
Sound off below by leaving a comment.
Here’s a quick collection on the topic, none of which truly address the work-life social media time continuum, but that are interesting nonetheless:
- On his blog, Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement and Social Media for Digital First Media, has a category dedicated to newsroom social media policies
- Digital First Media Editor in Chief Jim Brady writes about “How Social Networks Can Save Media”
- Mathew Ingram writes at GigaOM about how newspapers “still don’t get it” when it comes to social media (added bonus: comment from the Post’s Dan Petty)
- Newspaper Death Watch takes a different tack, writing that journalists’ use of social media might influence sources