Halifax Media bans jeans in the newsroom

An end to Casual Friday in newsrooms of Halifax Media papers.

Photo courtesy of Andy Boyle

Some comments about this posted on my Facebook wall:

Marge Neal
It’s like editors have forgotten that reporters could, at any moment, be walking through a dung-filled cow pasture, or a sloppy athletic field, or climbing some God-forsaken hill to get to a car crash or (insert messy situation here). I worked in one newsroom where, when we mentioned the above, we were invited to keep a second set of “ruinable” clothes in our car to change into. So much for getting the story first!

Don Lee
True story: I once worked for a mangling editor who chewed out a graphics guy for wearing high-water jeans in the newsroom on a Saturday. Said chewing-out accomplished while said ME was wearing plaid boxers and a sleeveless golf sweater with no shirt underneath. Also, barefoot and, as near as I wanted to determine, needing a shower.

Greg Johnson
If they don’t want me in jeans, they’ll get me in fishnets.

James L. Rosica
My new business is selling khakis and chinos to Halifax reporters.

Yolanda Rodriguez
The last time I wore a dress and high heels at the H-T I ended up on farm after a thunderstorm looking for a guy who had been struck by lightening.

David McSwane
I wore jeans today, will continue to wear jeans, might even wear a jean jacket, and if they have a problem with that, I will give them the courtesy of a 48 hour freakout period before I go all teen wolf on their asses.

Kirk Ross
because nothing says ‘integrity’ more than dockers and a cheap tie.

Laura Lorek
One more benefit of telecommuting – no dress code. When are the editors going to realize they need to just let everyone work from home and save on real estate and paper for memos to tell everyone what not to wear?



  1. Carol said:

    What I’ve also heard is in the handbook: hourly folk can’t eat at their desks. They must now step away and take an actual hour lunch break.

  2. I was once told by HR to tell a female employee that she needed to start wearing a bra to work. Male employees were upset with me after that.

  3. Is it really that hard NOT to wear jeans to work? Seriously?

    Maybe it is, though, for people who still refer to “lightening” and who don’t use commas or the words “a” or “the.”

  4. Bill Reader said:

    It is very hard to build rapport with community members when you are the only person at a newsworthy event who is NOT wearing jeans. Instead of blending in, you stick out like a sore thumb, and that sends a not-so-subtle signal of superiority/snobbishness.

    Some common sense is in order. Jeans are not always appropriate dress for working journalists, but sometimes jeans should not only be allowed, but recommended.

  5. Carol said:

    Robert – When a copy editor is making 20k a year and works 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., is there really a problem with jeans? Can’t we grant that small comfort to people who work shitty hours for shitty pay without complaint? And yes, there are copy editors making 20k a year at the new Halifax papers. I know some.

  6. Carol:

    Can I call you by your first name? Oh, that’s right, you’re concerned enough to post but not to use a full name.

    Anyway, the jeans issue is silly. I don’t see anything wrong with evening employees wearing jeans, but I also don’t see anything wrong with the employer saying “no jeans.” Exceptions should be made, of course, for people doing actual dirty work. And that happens far less often for reporters than the Facebook hordes want to claim.

    The same applies with dress codes. The newsrooms that said all males had to wear ties, regardless of their jobs, were stupid. But the places with no dress codes, where people showed up in sweats and moronic message T-shirts, were across the line, too.

    But the biggest problem here is the usual newsroom mentality of parsing every word in these kinds of regulations while ignoring the devastating changes. The bad changes, if they haven’t already happened, will come. Imagine working at night, in an office like a meat locker, with no tech support. If anything goes wrong, you’re on your own, but at the same time you’ll be blamed for whatever goes wrong. Those are the kinds of things that are far too prevalent, yet they go on and on.

    Finally, at risk of playing both sides of the fence, I laughed out loud at this statement: “Can’t we grant that small comfort to people who work shitty hours for shitty pay without complaint?” Those people work without complaint? In which alternate universe? The complaints also were prevalent, but even worse were the excuses. Excuses for not looking something up. Excuses for writing “Xxxxxxxx” for the skybox as often as not and expecting Somebody Else to fix it. And on and on.

  7. Arthur said:

    When I worked at Lee Enterprises, they even banned cargo pants, which are probably the most versatile and practical pants a journalist can wear. The khaki color works in professional settings while the material can handle some abuse. And the pockets are great for notebooks, small cameras and recorders.