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WHAM-TV (Rochester, NY) reporter Rachel Barnhart tells her followers that Sinclair Broadcasting, which recently acquired WHAM, has a policy of “owning” the social media accounts of its on-air talent.

Rachel Barnhart

Rachel Barnhart


At this juncture, I am retaining ownership of my existing Facebook and Twitter pages. Therefore, the company has started new social media accounts in my name for me to use during work hours when I am covering stories. The company has administrative control over these accounts.

Barnhart points out in the comments on her post: “The big benefit for stations is owning a reporter’s relationship with followers. The reporter can’t take the following with her if she leaves for a competitor or anywhere else.” She adds: “I don’t consider this a muzzle, as I can continue to use my own accounts, primarily as I have been. I just have to maintain additional work-only accounts.”

* “An important note to my Twitter and Facebook friends” (plus.google.com)

UPDATE: A reader says American City Business Journals — owned by the Newhouse family — ordered its reporters late last year to set up business-related Twitter accounts named after the reporters’ beats and to share passwords with the company. “We can have personal Twitter accounts, but we have to do our business-related tweeting on our business Twitter accounts,” writes the ACBJ employee. “We also can make personal observations on our business-related Twitter accounts, though that seems to me like begging for trouble.”

foxblues
* The “Fox & Friends” crew point out that it’s the most depressing day of the year. (thepoliticalcarnival.net) | “The theory of Blue Monday dates back to 2005.” (timeslive.co.za)
* Andy Borowitz: “Fox News to shut down for routine maintenance Monday morning at 11:30.” (newyorker.com)
* Notre Dame student newspaper editor apologizes for being taken in by the Te’o girlfriend hoax. (ndsmcobserver.com)
* Te’o’s father confirms he was the source for South Bend Tribune’s story about a face-to-face “girlfriend” meeting. (southbendtribune.com)
* Te’o tall tale “a massive failure of reporting, a de-pantsing of sports journalism.” (adage.com) | (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
* Newspapers make creative use of office space — and try to make some money doing it. (nytimes.com)
* Reader submission: “Satirical New Orleans carnival krewe uses Day of the Dead iconography on float about newspapers, including The Times-Picayune.” (nola.com)
* Times-Picayune wins a prestigious award for a series that was produced by many journalists who’ve been laid off. (bestofneworleans.com)
* Should journalists donate time and money to causes? (comotivate.tumblr.com)
* Today’s publishing industry: “Authors must be willing to offset some costs associated with production and most importantly Public Relations.” (craigslist.org)
* I understand what happened here, Star Tribune; I’m still writing 2012 on my checks. (citypages.com)strib
* Oops: Chicago Sun-Times tells readers to watch for “exclusive” Presidential Inauguration coverage on February 22. (timeoutchicago.com)
* Syracuse Media Group floor plan aims to encourage collaboration. (syracuse.com)
* Lenore Skenazy: “Now it turns out that blathering is the web’s greatest strength.” (qz.com)
* “I had no right to start a print publication when I was 21,” says Jacobin magazine’s Bhaskar Sunkara. (nytimes.com)
* Meredith lays off 60 as it shifts resources toward digital strategies. (desmoinesregister.com)