John Paton is CEO of the Journal-Register Company. JRC publishes the New Haven Register and bunch of other papers in and out of Connecticut. I work for Tribune Company which owns FoxCT, The Hartford Courant and others. So, to be perfectly clear, Paton runs the competition.
At the moment the newspaper business sucks. Only time will tell, but a case can be made John Paton is a visionary who will lead newspapers from their malaise.
What John Paton says and does is a big deal because the industry watchws him. His influence is larger than his company’s circulation would imply.
Today Last year John Paton said ‘anything goes’ for JRC employees using social media.
Some of you have asked what are JRC’s Employee Rules For Using Social Media. To keep it simple I have reduced them to three:
By removing rules Paton is saying objective reporters are allowed to have subjective opinions. That flies in the face of journalism over the last fifty years.
Back while I was at Channel 8 corporate management attempted to impose the opposite kind of policy. To their credit when shown the modern impracticality of muffling social media they relented. As far as I know that policy died a quiet death.
A noisier policy battle pitted reporter Rinker Buck and his blog versus the Hartford Courant. I suspect (years, management and policy changes later) it would be a non-issue today.
Everything we know about traditional media has changed! Some see extinction ahead. Others are looking for a way to move on. I’m rooting for the latter.
Note: For some reason I thought this was a new entry by Paton. It is not, but it’s still worth noting.