Thursday, March 13, 2014

If You Disagree With Your Employer, Should You Quit So Publicly?

An American news anchor at RT (formerly known as Russia Today), announced that she was quitting her position as a protest against the Russian government, which subsidizes the network.

First of all, should she have quit? Was that the best decision if she did not agree with the agenda of her company?

Second, did she have to make her resignation during an actual broadcast? Was that grandstanding a little bit or was she just using her position to denounce the network and Russian government?

FYI: here is RT's response.

11 comments:

Danika Palmeri said...

This was a very unprofessional act of the part of the news anchor. Her opinions regarding and relationship to Russia are irrelevant as a relayer of information, which is essentially her job description. If she is so concerned with getting the factual evidence to the audience as she claims to be, then she would not be putting information on the air that refers to non-factual information. She also falsely places herself in a position of authority when she continuously rattles off her familial and personal relation to Russia. It makes her seem biased and untrustworthy.

Meredith Hebert said...

Her job as a journalist is to be objective and leave her personal life and beliefs outside of work, therefore she had no real reason to quit. Also, stating a public resignation is fine if it is done well. Instead of simply stating she would be leaving the broadcast station, she went on a personal tangent, detracting her own credibility in the field. I'm surprised that the producers didn't cut to commercial.

EJ said...

I was okay with her resignation, she had to make it on the air because of the fact that she is a face of a broadcast and they typically give their viewers an explanation of resignation and notify them of their last.

Should she have consulted with her bosses and possibly been a little less dramatic? Probably.

However, what I think people missed here is that her resignation had nothing to do with her failure to be objective. Her resignation came as a result of not accepting the fact that she was a part of a news outlet that WASN't being objective.

Imagine if someone on FOX news resigned because they have relatives who are impoverished and/or relatives whose general welfare has been increased drastically by health care. Naturally, that anchor would feel morally and ethically inclined to quit.

Michele Gaston - Temple J111-01 said...

I believe this was very unprofessional of the journalist and she certainly could have handled it in a better way. She should have discussed her grievances with her employer in a private manner and if she was not satisfied with the results of the conversation, then she could have given official notice in writing about her resignation. Furthermore, I believe she has not damaged her own integrity and reputation as a professional.

Shealyn Kilroy said...

In response to personal beliefs, I believe the reporter was not wrong to want to leave her job. It's apparently that she doesn't want to personally support the Russian government by being employed on that network. I believe the anchor was staying true to herself.

HOWEVER, she should not have made her resignation during the broadcast. Her job as a journalist is to give news to the public. By her denouncing the network and Russian government on air, she has the ability to influence the public with her opinion. She must separate her individual emotions and opinions from being a news anchor. When she works, she must be nothing. If the purpose of her announcing during her cast that she was leaving was that the public knew the truth of her absence, it could have been done after she left the network. As a journalist, personal matters should be private to maintain objectivity.

Shealyn Kilroy said...

In response to personal beliefs, I believe the reporter was not wrong to want to leave her job. It's apparently that she doesn't want to personally support the Russian government by being employed on that network. I believe the anchor was staying true to herself.

HOWEVER, she should not have made her resignation during the broadcast. Her job as a journalist is to give news to the public. By her denouncing the network and Russian government on air, she has the ability to influence the public with her opinion. She must separate her individual emotions and opinions from being a news anchor. When she works, she must be nothing. If the purpose of her announcing during her cast that she was leaving was that the public knew the truth of her absence, it could have been done after she left the network. As a journalist, personal matters should be private to maintain objectivity.

Ryan Snowden said...

I saw this before a little while ago. This woman is my hero not because she stood up to Putin and Russia but because she as an employee of a powerful news organization that in her opinion misinforms its viewers. She stood up for herself and kept her dignity. However to answer (or not answer) the question, it doesn't make it right or wrong to do what she did. She has the right to choose whether or not she works there and it does not affect me at all.

Kaitlyn Mashack said...

I think that this woman was right in stepping down from an organization that operated against her beliefs and values. Working for a company that calls into question one's morals is a tough situation and I think that she did the right thing in leaving.

However, I do not agree with the way she went about her resignation. It was very dramatic and unnecessary. Her position at a news anchor is to disseminate information and her statement of quitting on a Live broadcast was very unprofessional.

Brittany Veloso said...

I also agree that this woman shouldn't be working for someone or something that combats her beliefs and moral standings. If you don't think you should be working for them, then yes of course quit! However, the way she went about her resignation was most definitely not the way many would have liked. If she had been an interviewee who needed to exit because of a moral problem that would have still been uncomfortable, but less dramatic to be on screen and need to leave. Going on the concept of a true unbiased journalist, she failed in this department. As a journalist she should have been objective. If she was morally uncomfortable she should have politely left before anything was public or theatrical. I feel like the things we learned in class suggest a person in this situation would need to set aside such ideals they believed in to do their duty as a journalist. I would just think that as a professional journalist she should have thought about how it affected her career and journalistic morality as oppose to her personal feeling on the subject matter. Then again, it is a free world and she can say and believe in whatever she shall choose.

Mariam Dembele said...

100% support her. I think it's insanely awesome that she was able to stand up for her beliefs in such a public manor. She clearly doesn't support the beliefs of the organization and she doesn't support the way the company has conducted itself. She was able to voice her own beliefs- it's important to note that she did specify that these we're her own beliefs and that she wasn't reporting at the time- on the issue in Crimea. She wants the public to be aware of the leaning of the organization and I respect her for expressing her viewpoint on the air and explaining why she can no longer work with that organization. She was in a sense being true journalist in that moment because she wasn't editing her information or viewpoint to fit in with the agenda of the company. She was speaking very candidly and it's admirable that she was able to overstep the power of the organization.

Sidyarth Garimall said...

I believe that anyone has a right to resign or voice dissent with their employer so along as they do not personally attack or humiliate particular people, so Liz Wahl was perfectly in her rights to do so, though I'm sure people will disagree with the delivery.

However, if we are to analyze her statements, we find them to be fairly biased in favor of the United States' position, despite overwhelming evidence that the Ukranian "revolution" was in fact largely organized by the US & EU for their own strategic motives. Additionally, her criticism is a bit weak when one considers that the new govt. in power has threatened to "liquidate" Russian-speakers, and that the leading parties like Svodoba and the Right Sector are Neo-Nazi organizations who collaborated with the Germans in WW2 to murder Jews in Ukraine.