Travel writer Christopher Elliott has been sacked from his USAToday.com column. Elliott suggests it was because he was too critical of USAirways.
The item of greatest note to me is that his firing was not simply for being critical to USAirways (an advertiser) in his online column that USAToday.com was paying for but also for what he wrote about USAirways on his blog.
USAToday.com’s editor-in-chief cites content from Mr. Elliott’s blog as a basis for charges underlying his dismissal:
- Moreover, with your commentary appearing in other forums (for example your Nov. 25 blog item on USAirways), the potential of an appearance of conflict is almost unavoidable.
I’ll leave it to the journalism profs and ethicists to comment further. Although the blogosphere may have something to say about this one.