Can We Have Opinions?

via jackiecrispinbrown.com

I don’t know the answer to this question. I wish I did.

I think a lot of journalists ask this question themselves and each other.

Obviously, everyone has opinions and biases. I mean we are human beings and we are all different, in that we think and act differently than one another.

I make sure I’m careful no Facebook and Twitter when it comes to what I tweet and post. I don’t want to come off a certain way, or give the perception that I’m leaning one way versus another. I do all of that knowing my bosses don’t check my Twitter or Facebook. I do it because I know what’s at stake. All it takes is one tweet or “Like” to throw everything away. Yes, I’m paranoid.

It’s come up in the news lately with recent firings and I’ve really been thinking about it.

I read this post by Mathew Ingram from Gigaom. I won’t go into detail on the post because you should take the time to read it.

In today’s world, Journalists have to watch what they say. It doesn’t matter if it’s a joke or not. It doesn’t matter, period.

Joking around is something you really have to be careful of.

I’m not saying that you need to be paranoid about what you are posting or liking on Facebook. I’m saying that we need to be vigilant that we are being smart about these things. We all have common sense and we all should use it.

My bosses haven’t levied any type of pressure on me to avoid opinions or saying anything. That was all of my doing.

I just figured I should get used to it now and keep it that way, right? I haven’t seen anyone come up with a real answer yet to that first question.

Why risk it?

Jonathan

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4 Responses to Can We Have Opinions?

  1. Nonnie says:

    Jon—–you certainly can have opinions, you just cannot express them. When you are writing, you must present the facts, as many as you can, and let your reader make up their own mind. Not an easy task, but the path you have chosen. I am happy to watch you grow and mature in your craft! ! ! Love, Nonnie

  2. opiningquill says:

    Having an opinion is never the problem keeping it separated from your professional life is the real challenge. Just as an attorney may have an opinion as to the guilt of a client, the job of the attorney may be to defend the client as innocent. It is not your opinion but your professional execution on the job that will determine how you are judged or perceived.

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