Blog at your peril in the USA

THE Los Angeles Times has apparently discontinued the column and Internet blog of a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter - because he posted items online using assumed names. Michael Hiltzik is to be reassigned after serving a suspension.

"Hiltzik did not commit any ethical violations in his newspaper column, and an internal inquiry found no inaccurate reporting in his postings in his blog or on the Web," an editor's note on the LA Times site said. "But employing pseudonyms constitutes deception and violates a central tenet of The Times' ethics guidelines: Staff members must not misrepresent themselves and must not conceal their affiliation with The Times."

It's good that US papers take their codes of conduct so seriously. But... but... without any information about the content of the online postings, this does rather seem like a restriction on his right to a private life.

Last modified: 2 May 2006 - © 2006 contributors
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