Where USF faculty, students and graduates are invited to talk about journalism and its problems and opportunities. This blog is not affiliated with the University of San Francisco, nor is the university responsible for any of the opinions expressed herein -- though it is certainly responsible for the people who entertain those opinions, having educated them. They make us proud.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Does Your Employer Tell You You Can't -- Oh, Let's See -- Work as a Dog Groomer on Weekends?
At the Yakima Herald-Republic, my editor in chief was in the midst of
revamping the rules for reporters side jobs, freelancing and other
Reporters were encouraged to volunteer in the community or be involved
in unpaid activities (coaching little league, tutoring kids, helping a
local church, etc) but paid activities were different.
When I arrived the only rules were you couldn't use the company's time
or resources for freelance jobs or outside jobs. Plus, you couldn't
work for competitors. Easy.
However, when the rules started to be rewritten the interim rule was
all side jobs and freelance had to be cleared through the editor in
chief to ensure that the work didn't conflict with your job as a
reporter. Our policy wasn't unique. Many newspapers the Ft. Worth
Star-Telegram and other large dailies subscribed to the policy.
This wasn't a big deal for me but some reporters took offense that
their time off the clock had to be cleared with the editor in chief.
So, given that reporters are underpaid and often want to live in
expensive urban playgrounds like San Francisco, Seattle and New York,
should reporters be able to pad their wages with outside projects if
all work is done outside of their day job?
I'd be interested to hear about the policies of other
writers/reporters in the forum to get a sense of how much flexibility
there is in these types of policies.