Times Network issues updated social media policy for employees, consultants

As per the new policy, if employees fail to comply with its list of 19 dos and don'ts, it will invite disciplinary measures amounting to termination in some cases

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 10, 2021 12:06 PM
times network

Times Network, the TV broadcast division of Bennett Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), has updated its social media policy for all employees and consultants. The updated policy has been communicated to Times Network staff on 8th September. It will apply to officers, journalists, editors, anchors, reporters, consultants, freelancers, retainers and service providers.
The updated policy states that social media has become integral and strategic to the company’s operations. It lists 19 Dos and Don'ts for the employees. The company said that the failure to comply with the updated social media policy will invite disciplinary measures including withdrawal and suspension of posts or suspension or termination of the employee from services.
An email sent by Times Network EVP and Head of Human Resources Srivathsan S to company staff reads, “We are entering an exciting new phase in our Network’s group. Keeping pace with the ever-changing landscape of social media as a growth driver, requires that we revisit our social media policy and make changes to it from time to time.”
While refusing to comment on the updated policy, Times Network said in a statement, “This is an Internal Policy and deals with our relationship with our Employees just as many of our other HR policies. Commenting on or discussing this is an intrusion of the privacy of our organisation.”

According to media reports, the company has asked its journalists not to post any messages, comments, or content which is likely to create controversy or is in contradiction to the company or its channels’ views or reporting. Employees have also been told not to post their personal view on any issues that are political or religious in nature. Further, employees cannot share anti-secular and anti-social content on any social media platform.

As per the updated policy, employees cannot express any political affiliation or political preference or any direct or indirect support to any political party. Employees have been asked not to retweet, post or even like any posts put out by competing channels and also other media platforms from either print, broadcast and digital, that don’t belong to the Times Network. Non-compliance with this rule would tantamount to working in favour of competitors, the policy states.

Times Network employees will have to immediately remove any post or tweet from their account when notified by the company. Furthermore, employees will have to add a star mark below every post to make it clear that content belongs to a third party.

Another highlight of the updated policy is that Times Network will have the first opportunity to publish the exclusive content brought in by reporters, and they will not have permission to put it out on their profiles/handles. Employees will also have to update the network about all accounts handled and operated by them, and cannot publish any unaired video or audio clip without the clearance of the Social Media Editor.

The policy also mandates that Times Network employees must not engage with trolls, respond in any way or get into a debate, and alert the social media editor in case of bullying or threats on social media.
Times Network owns and operates news and entertainment channels like Times Now, Times Now Navbharat, ET Now, Mirror Now, Movies Now and Movies Now HD, MN+, Romedy Now and Romedy Now HD, MNX & MNX HD and Zoom.

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