If You Know Something Your Co-Workers Don’t, Be Careful How You Share It.

Time was, a newsroom (TV, radio, newspaper) held a plethora of potential “Trivial Pursuit” game participants.  That’s because in those newsrooms, one could generally find folks with good liberal arts backgrounds, people tended to be well read, and they were constantly exposed to a variety of subjects and topics since they had to be able to be “instant experts” of the story de jour they were covering for the day.  Many of those had a noggin  filled with tidbits of both useful and useless information.  That was also one of the advantages of working with the “old timers” in a newsroom who knew the history of a town or region.  One could pick up tidbits of history or trivia from the old farts in the newsroom before it became cheaper to get rid of them and hire folks right out of college who would work for a half of the pay.  Hey, it’s not personal, it’s just business.  I understand that.  The downside is that the overall knowledge base in the newsroom was diminished somewhat when the old guard left.  Yes, the young pups can now “Google” information on the “internets” but that doesn’t always work.  Case in point, a friend and former co-worker of mine who works in a medium sized CBS affiliate told me last month that a producer on the morning show was asking a question about running a possible story.  It seems the producer kept getting these URGENT bulletins from the wire about some guy named “Walter Cronkite” being hospitalized.  The producer was trying to decide whether to stick something in the newscast because apparently this guy used to be somebody but wasn’t sure whether to put something in the line-up.  I can just picture my friend rolling his eyes and strongly suggesting some action.  Those darned kids these days!

With that in mind, the case of an anchor at a small market serving the AR/LA/MS area (Monroe, LA-El Dorado, AR/market 136 ) has been floating around the internet.  You can read details by clicking this link. In a nutshell, the news director at his station recently was asking about the  “Enola Gay”, the B-29 that delivered the first atomic weapon over Japan and this particular anchor posted on his personal Facebook account that he was apparently the only person under 40 in the newsroom who knew about the aircraft and its historic significance.  Granted, it may not have been the smartest thing to do but hey, some of the stuff  I see posted on Facebook is questionable anyway.  The news director came to the anchor and told him to take it down and I understand it, he instead shutdown his entire Facebook account.  The anchor thought that solved the problem and instead was informed a day later that he was being terminated because he basically had embarrassed the station.  Wow.  That’s a tough manager.  Still, there are a couple of lessons to be learned here.  Be careful what you post on the social media pages.  Just about anyone who has ever worked in the news business knows there are always people out there just waiting to be offended.  Chances are, they will find you.  If you know something or have some information, be careful how you share and with whom you share.  Not everyone is going to be as impressed with you as you might think.  Again, there are plenty of folks out there waiting to be offended and chances are they will be.  (This by the way written by someone who lives in a city where 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders will no longer be held back if they have failing grades because it might hurt their self esteem.)  I will admit that while I have a Facebook account, I really don’t do much with it.  I would imagine there are people out there who will do some re-evaluation of what they post as well.  In fact, one friend of mine who works at a TV station says he’s seriously considering de-friending everyone of his co-workers from his Facebook account.  He’s concerned if he doesn’t, it could cost him his job some day.

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3 Comments on “If You Know Something Your Co-Workers Don’t, Be Careful How You Share It.”

  1. This guy was fired for this? This ND obviously is an insecure jerk. -T-

  2. Wintermute Says:

    “there are plenty of folks out there waiting to be offended and chances are they will be.”

    Amen, brother.

    • Lew Says:

      Years ago, I worked with an anchor who didn’t know who the Khmer Rouge were. I asked her if she’d ever seen the movie “The Killing Fields,” and she said yes! I said, “Well they were the ones who did the killing!”

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