According to editorandpublisher.com the management at the Hartford Courant believes their writers are a potential liability if they express their opinions outside of the newsroom.
Commenting on Dennis Hogan’s blog, Courant editor Brian Toolan stated:
"Denis Horgan’s entire professional profile is a result of his attachment to The Hartford Courant, yet he has unilaterally created for himself a parallel journalistic universe where he’ll do commentary on the institutions that the paper has to cover without any editing oversight by the Courant.That makes the paper vulnerable."According to Horgan’s blog, the site will remain open as he explores his rights and options. The response from Horgan’s readers about Courant’s policy is encouraging and enlightening.
As one reader noted, newspapers don’t seem to have policies against reporters being talk show hosts on radio or commentators on TV. Why would having a blog be any different? The Courant doesn’t seem to understand that bloggers have an intimate relationship with their readers. And if the Courant was smart, they’d recognize Horgan’s individual brand is part of the newspaper’s brand too. By this action, they are giving out the perception their newspaper is no place for intimate relationships. Smells like bad business.
OJR’s Mark Glaser reports on the Courant and dealing with blogophobia.