The journalists' union in the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in Australia has urged media companies to clarify their policies for employees' online interaction after a sub-editor in Bribane was sacked for running his paper down in a personal blog.
According to the MEAA it was the first case, to its knowledge, of a journalist in Austalia being sacked for expressing personal opinions on an online forum.
According to MEAA spokesman Johahan Este, news organisations need to spell out their position on social media (such as) blogs, Twitter and Facebook and need to be very clear to their staff on what they are allowed and not allowed to do.
The sub-editor who blogs under the pseudonym 'Dr Zen' was employed as a casual at News Central, a part of News Limited (publisher of The Australian) and was under contract to sub-edit News' Brisbane mastheads, The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail.
On 22 September he uploaded a post to his blog from work. 'I am soooooooo bored today.'' he started, going to say that Tuesday was his least favorite day at work. ''It goes very slowly,'' he said. ''It's also the day I sub a lot of the columns and they suck,'' he wrote.
The sub-editor went on to criticise the publication and the columinist whose work he was editing.