Romenesko just posted this note from NPR management to the troops:
From: [Senior vice president for news] Ellen Weiss
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 8:46 AM
To: News-All Staff
Subject: NPR Journalists and political activity
As we head into the final weeks of this political season, I thought it would be valuable to send out a reminder of what NPR News Ethics Policies and Social Media Guidelines are regarding political activity. These are the relevant excerpts from the full documents that can be found online.
Please review carefully and if you have any questions please talk to your direct supervisor.
* NPR journalists may not run for office, endorse candidates or otherwise engage in politics. Since contributions to candidates are part of the public record, NPR journalists may not contribute to political campaigns, as doing so would call into question a journalist’s impartiality.
* NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them. This restriction applies to the upcoming John Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies.
* You must not advocate for political or other polarizing issues online. This extends to joining online groups or using social media in any form (including your Facebook page or a personal blog) to express personal views on a political or other controversial issue that you could not write for the air or post on NPR.org.
* NPR journalists may not serve on government boards or commissions.
Because then people might question your impartiality. What would happen if NPR got a reputation for leaning one way or the other?
It’s interesting that they feel the need to reiterate their policies with the Stewart/Colbert deal coming up. Hey, did they put out a memo prohibiting staffers from attending the Glenn Beck rally? If not, why not?