Reminder: Social Media Are Not Where We Criticize Colleagues’ Work

It’s the holiday season. Let’s resolve to treat each other kindly in 2019.

In recent days some staffers have taken to social media to criticize the work done by others at NPR.

Think about how it could make you feel if it was your work being criticized. You might have spent days or weeks on a story. You’ve done what you thought was good work. Then a colleague, without even talking to you, goes public with sharp words. The fact that the words are coming from “inside” NPR can draw extra attention from the outside world.

It seems a reminder is in order about how we should treat each other.

Here is what we say in the Ethics Handbook:

“We sometimes want to write about NPR on social media. Sharing our colleagues’ work is encouraged. Pointing to NPR’s coverage of news events is of course perfectly fine. But when it comes to criticism of the work done by NPR’s journalists, we treat our colleagues as we hope they would treat us. If we have something critical to say, we say it to their face – not on social media.”

(“Memmos;” Dec. 20, 2018)

December 20, 2018

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