Do you work in a large business, with lots of branches around the country (maybe around the world)? Or, in ANY work situation do you ask the same probing questions of co-workers that you would of others? Would you say to a co-worker that what they are saying doesn't make sense to you, and push them HARD for better answers on a non-work related issue they promote?
Like, oh, for instance ..... if your co-worker was to organize some political thang. And you were assigned to cover that political thing. Would you push your co-worker for clear answers as hard as you would a stranger, knowing that you'll still be passing each other in the halls, hanging out with the same folks at work? Would it be as easy for you to ask them the tough questions, and try to insist on answers? If you had more questions, and your work in the same building, would you seek them out and push for more answers? Would that person then feel that they were in a hostile work environment?
I'd hope, that as a news person, you'd be able to do that. But I understand why your employer would feel that you might have a hard time doing that, and that it might at least subconsciously affect your reporting.
Which, obviously, brings me to National Public Radio's (NPR) rules against any of it's employees participating in that NPR covers. The issue also is whether someone on NPR's payroll should be allowed to
say something in one venue that NPR would not allow on its air. NPR’s ethics code says they cannot.
I'm betting that NPR would not allow it's employees to advocate, on the air, that congressional office buildings should be occupied. Which is what StopTheMachine2011, the group that Lisa Simeone is on the board of directors of, did the other day. I dunno just what they did today at the bank. And I blame the editor from the National Standard for the incident at the National Air & Space Museum.
I don't think that their policy is a great one. I understand why they have it, but I think that there area better ways to promote journalistic integrity, like just saying they can't participate in things that they themselves cover. But the policy is clear, and has been VERY public since NPR fired Juan Williams a few years back.
I AM amused at the folks crying censorship over this who were fine with Juan Williams being fired. Just because I'm amused by folks who rationalize things like that.