WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Watch What You Say (Especially on Social Media)

Aug 18, 2015

A recruiting manager told Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton he would not hire someone she referred.  The reason?  "Questionable content" posted by the applicant on social media accounts.

Crighton said the person she referred is quite outspoken about political matters and had been warned this might come back to haunt him.  She said this case underscores the need for reporters to be careful about using social media to share opinions on topical news issues.

Panelist Rich Egger said social media postings about politics are akin to putting a campaign sign in your yard.  He said reporters are advised against taking sides on political matters, whether it’s through yard signs or comments on the web.

Panelist Jonathan Ahl said it’s fair game for stations to see what applicants have been up to on social media.  He said past behavior is a good indication of what someone might do in the future and that can help determine whether someone gets a job.  Ahl said there is often a large pool of candidates for media jobs and there’s no reason to take a chance on someone who might make your organization appear biased.

Ahl and Crighton also pointed out social media comments can come back to haunt those in other fields as well.  Crighton said a teacher in the St. Louis area recently got into trouble for comments made on Twitter.