Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Copy editor fired

A copy editor and reporter at the Dover Post in Delaware was fired because of his personal blog.

Matt Donegan, 24, was baffled by the firing and said, "What I wrote ... was rude, but it doesn't make it wrong."

What did he write? The first interest listed on his main MySpace page, where his blog is hosted, is "shaving my scrotum." Things go downhill from there.

This isn't the classiest of blogs; Donegan never intended it to be. It's not something you'd show to your boss to help get you hired, nor is it something you'd want identified with your reporter if you were his editor.

Donegan is trying to make this into a free-speech issue. He will fail.

"He has a right to free speech, certainly," said the Post's editor, Don Flood. But his blog was "just so beyond the pale he could not possibly represent us."

(Link via Romenesko)


At 1:47 AM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Mark Dodge Medlin said...

I read a few of the guy's blog entries, and while he was clearly going for laughs, he missed by a mile. I found the posts stupid, unfunny and full of typos. If that's any reflection of him as a person and a reporter/copy editor, I wouldn't want him working for me.

At 12:52 PM, February 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What did he write? The first interest listed on his main MySpace page, where his blog is hosted, is 'shaving my scrotum.' Things go downhill from there."

Um, you realize that whole thing is a quote from Austin Powers, right?

At 1:55 PM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Scott Baradell said...

The Washington Times has a story on the whole phenomenon of personal blogs by journalists. Beyond someone acting like an illiterate, profane kid, the larger issue is that journalists who state their opinions on their blogs run the risk of conflicts of interest, at least down the road. Steve's posted on it at Micro Persuasion.

At 11:17 PM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Nicole said...

Brian, I think the quote could come from the Holy Bible and not matter. He's talking about scrotums -- and that's not even to mention the "cum shots" bit in the "about me" section. C'mon.

Journalists with blogs will generally be fine until someone at a competing media outlet "outs" them. Then all hell breaks loose. So ask yourself, would I be OK with this being quoted on the radio? In the alternative weekly? In my own paper? If not, save yourself the embarassment.

The Micro Persuasion Post that Scott mentioned has a direct link here.

At 3:22 AM, September 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its most certainly a free speech issue, and he should sue the heck out of them (seeing that its probably the only option he has seeing that they want him gone anyway).

What's at stake here is your ability to say what you want in your private life. You throw yourself under the bosses control all the day at work, now they want control over your private life as well? Fuck them. Thats nothing but censorship, which is why I won't censor my expletive either.


Post a Comment

<< Home