As our readers know, some members of the Morrissey & Company team can be very opinionated, especially concerning politics (cough cough Ernie Corrigan cough cough). Earlier this week, my colleagues and I had a discussion weighing the pros and cons of airing our personal opinions on The Fosbury Flop. We posed questions like:
- Can we post individual views (under our own names) on a company-sponsored blog?
- Where’s the line between information and influence on the internet?
- What sort of regulations should we have in place for this venue (other than the usual PG-13 language rules to which we usually adhere)?
- How sensitive should we be about offending potential future, or existing, clients?
These questions aren’t unique to my colleagues; our clients often voice the same concerns when they engage in social media activities. And my answer echoes a phrase I’ve heard uttered time and again from our head honcho, Peter: “It’s tricky.”
As “blog high priestess” (and yes, that’s another example of title creep), I could ask my colleagues to censor their personal opinions; indeed, some of our readers might suggest we do more than just request self-censorship. And I understand and respect where they’re coming from. It’s true that Morrissey & Company doesn’t have an “official position” on the solutions for national budget deficit, MBTA management, or even on celebrity misbehavior (Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan, I’m looking at you), but we have blogged about each of these topics. Were we over-stepping our boundaries? Maybe.
We don’t all belong to the same political parties; we don’t always see eye-to-eye on social issues; and sometimes we don’t even agree on pizza toppings for team lunches! So why do we “allow” each other to discuss these hot-button issues?
For a start, while we don’t always agree on the issues, we do mandate that the opinions we express are well-supported (subjective, it’s true, but most things are) with third-party evidence.
We try to use our heads about posts and put ourselves in each other’s shoes (sometimes harder to do than we think). And we are dedicated to regulating each other.
… Not to mention that vanilla posts rarely inspire intelligent discourse!
But we have come to realize that it’s time to give more to credit opposing views. As such, we will introduce point-counterpoint posts, be more mindful of acknowledging dissenting opinions, and be more proactive about commenting (always respectfully) on each other’s posts when we disagree. We will also remind our readers that the opinions expressed by an individual contributor do not necessarily represent the opinions of Morrissey & Company as a whole.
We will not censor each other. We will not engage in disrespectful behavior, and sometimes we will agree to disagree.
And you have a part to play here, too. If you don’t agree with one of our posts or opinions, I encourage you to speak up: comment, email, call, tweet – we welcome all viewpoints and love nothing more than a hearty, informative discussion. In the future we will also be polling our readers about what content you want to see more of – and less of.
We look forward to hearing from you!