You're essentially an employee

Blogs This is an unusual one. A New York Times writer has an article published in which she talks about her nanny and all the 'shocking' things she discovered about her by reading her weblog (which sounds like a column filler but I digress). In the article she doesn't offer a URL or a title or even the name of the nanny. Unfortunately she was naive enough to think that if she printed quotes someone wouldn't just be able to check Google and find the blog. Well they did. And now the nanny has posted a lengthy rebuttle. As Nathan says:
"There is a great rebuttal post where the nanny explains how Olen, the 'reporter', took singular incidents and statements and made assumptions in her article that they were a pattern, how the Times sat behind technicalities in refusing to alter the column before it saw print, and how the blog is, by far, no 'Nannies Gone Wild'. Bravo. Regardless of any mistakes this nanny made, the irresponsibility falls squarely on the 'journalist' who saw fit to publish details of a private citizen's private life."
The reporter has evidently thought that since the blog is in the public domain already, re-printing the material in the column is fair game. But the readership of the NYT is vast in comparison to most blogspotters (I should know), so to a degree it's an invasion of privacy since you're shining a floodlight on a subject which before would at best be illuminated by a table lamp. I wonder if there was a discussion about the article going into print between employer and employee. If the reporter had concerns about the blog it might have been more civil to approach the nanny face to face at Starbucks rather an print her concerns in a national newspaper for everyone to read. Told you it was an unusual one.


  1. Anonymous7:49 am

    You are completely incorrect, Once something is in the public domain, whatever that domain may be, it IS fair game. And that would be the view of a court in a libel trial of any kind. Think I don't know what I am talking about? I've sat four exams in media law. It's fools who muck around on the internet yapping idly about the media who don't know anything.

  2. Yes, but I'm talking about the ethics of journalism really. Hasn't the journalist effectively used her power because she has a grudge against someone?