EdMedia Commons Archive

Did Reporter Cross the Line with Self-Promotion?

Kristopher Brooks had his reporting job offer from the (Del.) News-Journal rescinded after he issued a self-congratulatory press release via social media, which included quoting words of praise from his hiring letter.

Brooks, who previously worked at the Omaha World Herald before attending NYU to complete a master’s degree, describes himself as a “veteran education reporter” in the press release — although that was not the beat he would have been assigned to cover at the Delaware paper.

He ran into trouble after media blogger Jim Romenesko wrote about the press release, and the story went viral. Shortly after that, Brooks was contacted by the News-Journal and told his job offer had been rescinded.

In addition to quoting his future editor’s letter, Brooks also used the News-Journal’s logo on the press release. Both of those actions apparently violated the newspaper’s policies, Brooks told Romenesko. 

“I didn’t do it to showboat,” Brooks told Romenesko of his decision to post the press release on his WordPress and Tumblr blog. “I did it to tell family, friends and ex-co-workers about the next step in my career.”

What do you think? Are reporters getting mixed messages about how to use social media to promote their work and build their personal brand? Or should Brooks — who has since written that he will likely land on his feet despite this unfortunate bump in his career path — have been more circumspect?

This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.