The biggest newspaper conglomerate of nation, Times of India, fell short in understanding the needs of framing a policy for online media. TOI has launched a new social media policy for its journalists after facing heat from industry evangelists and social media critics based on the report by Quartz.
The essential objective of the policy is employees can keep two accounts on social media – a personal user account and a company user account. But the company strongly insists on having only one account and the company continues to have a sole discretion to upload any news report, including automated news posts.
This came in the aftermath of a policy dated 23rd July which proclaimed all journalists working under the company must hand over their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ passwords for the company to post on their behalf.
The original policy read: (as published by Quartz)
“The company shall be the owner of the access passwords, username and associated email address for the User Account, which shall be used by you on behalf of the Company to make posts. Company retains administration rights of the User Account, which shall be made accessible to the Company on demand.”
“The company may upload news or other material on the company User Account through any means, including automated upload streams, at its sole discretion, notwithstanding any termination of your contract with the company.”
In a nutshell, previous policy stated the following outlandish clauses:
- The company will be free to post any material to the account without the knowledge of the journalist.
- All intellectual rights of such User Account shall be vested in the company.
- The policy continues to prevail even after the termination of employment of the employee.
- Revenue generated from these accounts will be accredited to the company.
TOI’s idea of reaching out to the masses instituted a monolithic policy favoring only the company. The consequence was an upsurge in the media and dissatisfaction amongst employees.