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Should a journalist be fired for stating an opinion?

After 20 years at CNN, Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr fired following the uproar over her tweet in praise of Hezbollah cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Three days before, Nasr had tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot..”

She later said she regretted the tweet and explained that she didn’t support Fadlallah’s life’s work, but admired his “contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman's rights.” But CNN believed Nasr’s credibility as a journalist was already compromised, and removed her from her position.

Did CNN make the right decision? Should a journalist lose his or her job for stating an opinion? How much should journalists share about their personal beliefs on social networks?

Are tweets her job?

There's a difference between tweeting and having to tweet because your employer orders you to do so. Freedom of speech stretches far, but only as far as your government or employers wants. At a time in which we want to see the person behind the job, we should be able to accept the views expressed, even when they're not our own. She explained what she intended to say, that should have been accepted. I guess CNN suffers from the recession too and saw an opportunity for a cut back.

She was just being human

I think she was just being human by having and airing opinion. For one to have a journalist without an opinion, you need to get a robot without feelings, mind. It is not humanly possible for journalist to be bereft of opinion. But she should have been more careful considering the views of the medium she was working for. However, the action taken by CNN was too harsh. A more benign repremand would have been enough.

Abdulwasiu

we have the right to our opinions.

why are we called journalist?if we have no right 2 our opinions,we are the mouth piece of the people and we are also the PEOPLE,and if CNN cant respect the fact that every one has the right to their opinion,then i guess they shldnt be called the world greatest network.

I totally disagree. Her work

I totally disagree. Her work as a journalist was to make the news in her view, why should she be fired for always doing her job? Though you have to be careful about how you say it. Every body has his or her own opinion even the journalist are not exempted. they are humans just like us so they have a right to speech and their thoughts and even expressing them. ayorinde.lydia@yahoo.com

I totally disagree. Her work

I totally disagree. Her work as a journalist was to make the news in her view, why should she be fired for always doing her job? Though you have to be careful about how you say it. Every body has his or her own opinion even the journalist are not exempted. they are humans just like us so they have a right to speech and their thoughts and even expressing them. ayorinde.lydia@yahoo.com

I fully agree with CNN

I fully agree with CNN decision. CNN, as a International network , it's an influential voice in the world. In this circumstances, if one of their journalists, publicly express sympathy for one religious leader or another, for a party leader or another etc, he/she is fully compromised. I work for a national broadcaster, in my country Albania, and I'm really careful on what I say in TV, public round table, or internet, because I represent a national Institution. According my point of view, all of us should avoid misunderstanding, because our influence in the public opinion, is really big....

Arsen Hoxha, Albania

atleast cnn must give her one

atleast cnn must give her one chance.they can give warning to her and they can bann the personal views of anchores in the news bulltins but what they did, is wrong and total unjustice to her. ayesha sohail news anchor express news lahore,pakistan

It is very unjust to fire

It is very unjust to fire Octavia Nasr because of her comment on the Death of Hezbollah cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. She did not COMMENT on behalf of the CNN Organization because if she did she must have included her comments/opinions in the news/Opinion Collumn of CNN newspaper, TV and Radio. But what she did was to express her deep sadness towards the person whom she might have known for long time and she might have interviewed him personally while she was still a reporter through TWITTER! Twitter is a social Network not a CNN Organzation or Agency.

The sack of Octavia it could display the creadibility of CNN as an independent media organization and it could NOT stand for its own staffs and employees during the trial/difficult moment.

Media Organizations have been fighting for FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION but one of the most known Media Organization/agency like CNN could not simply practice it in the case of Octavia. CNN Director/President should have reprimanded Octavio and explained what is the stance of CNN. She must not have immediately been sacked. It seems like CNN Agency doesnot really appreciate Octavia's contribution and hardwork for more than 10 years.

Dionisio de Jesus Lopes East Timorese A Journalism Major Student, AdNU, Philippines.

no! in fact the role of the

no! in fact the role of the media is to uphold the opinions of others that does not mean we journalists do not have our own. If she used the company's resources to post the comments, then it is appropriate to get her fired, but if it was her own personal opinion, then it should be let to rest. kimanianyoike@gmail.com

yes a journalist should be

yes a journalist should be fired for stating their opinions..................as a journalist is the voice of ppl .their job is to present truth nt ter opinions

cnn reporter is correct what

cnn reporter is correct what she said is obsalutely right 5ting for some thing means at time shiya dont take take these type of decission totally fault of nasr should not use these type of words "firing a journalist is as crime as he suicides himself " nobody should think cheif about journalist
srikanth.yadav373@!gmail.com

Journalists make good

Journalists make good observations most of the time. But If sometimes they can be denied a right to speak their mind on critical issues, then I see no essence of making noise on democracy. Howard Mlozi, B-Town, Malawi.

its clear that every where

its clear that every where some people use media for their own purpose . but if we says that media is fourth important piller of the state , so media related person be carefull . in media industry there is no personal relation so if octavia nasr write any thing wrong. its a fault of nasr but the other wrong decission cnn done that kick out nasr is totally wrong..

musarratullah@journalistc.om

A journalist giving his/her

A journalist giving his/her opinions in her professional medium is, indeed, very undesirable. If Twitter can be considered a professional medium to any extent then what she has done is not in conformance with her ethics. Now, can anyone tell me... is Twitter a professional medium?

A journalists should state

A journalists should state the facts of the matter and allow the viewers or readers to draw their own opinion.

If anyone thought CNN is

If anyone thought CNN is unbiased and it stands for "freedom of thought" and "freedom of expression" they are wrong; it's time they correct their views.
Thaha Muzammil Sri Lanka

It's strange to fire someone

It's strange to fire someone for describing the cleric as one of the giants of a movement. From what every other network said about the man, this was fairly accurate. Or was it the fact that she expressed sadness about somebody that she appeared to have known personally?

Well...don't let the

Well...don't let the powerless; oppress and don't let the powerful; grateful. When a mankind can talk and give her or his opinion. Will this be after they are in the grave yard. Only then they can talk and give their opinion. What types of a mankind is this to ban and stop others from talking and giving his or her opinions.

When we get employed, it

When we get employed, it means we have accepted the terms and conditions of our employer. As a journalist I'm sure she knows that CNN would not in any way condescend to such comments in respect of Hussein Falallah. Your organization's image comes before yours based on their terms. Journalists should be able to conserve their opinions and report without bias. If she were do do a feature article on Falallah would she eulogize him? On the other hand, CNN management could have taken other measures and not send her packing in that manner. I mean she's serve them for 20 years, that's something to me. Sending her packing was unfair. It means CNN cannot even stand up for their staffs in such trying moments.

Ibukun Olagbemiro Nigeria

CNN, Israel, Zionists, all

CNN, Israel, Zionists, all have same ideology. CNN is a political media outlet than business. It stands with Israel whatever it costs. So if she knew this, and made such tweet, so it is like a soldier prising the enemy's commander. CNN regarding of what they are as company did the right decision, because she violated their core value. I wish her to work for a respected media house like Aljazeera.

Three days before, Nasr had

Three days before, Nasr had tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot..”

these her personal view and twitting is person things, personal view shall not affect some one career.

Asmat niazi Sr journalist Pakistan

I don't think it's

I don't think it's appropriate to fire her - women have no job security in the media. It could have been dealt with in so many other ways but the way it was was an indication of her opinion being different to other ruling authorities.

Even if it was wrong for her to express an opinion - and many journalists do voice opinions, it was not an effective or compassionate way of dealing with an employee. It's not like she's a judge or a lawyer, she's just a columnist, effectively, and if someone should be sacked for bias then that would mean most media conglomerates should be outlawed.

How much support and guidance was available to her prior to the comment on what her tweets were permitted to consist of and why should they be so stringently policed - it's only Twitter not a formal newspaper story that has to follow all the rules - everyone voices opinions on Twitter, even Julia Gillard Australia's Prime Minister.

Her integrity was already

Her integrity was already compromised. I would view her differently after her tweet post. But i think by firing her, CNN went too far.

John Muchangi, Nairobi

this shows the biasness of

this shows the biasness of CNN, one should not fire just because of this that he/she respect a person or even his opinion.......in CNN there are hundreds of employees who are supporting Jews in Israel against Palestine then, they should also fire them...just shame of CNN management

No self-respecting, objective

No self-respecting, objective journalist should even express an opinion in the media such as she did. CNN was correct. There is too much opinion in the media these days. Joe in Colorado

I read the twitter and

I read the twitter and understood why CC fired her. As a very Senior Journalist with CNN she ougth to know her organisation's policies as well as media ethics. When she identified herself with the CNN by her name means she acted as a representative of CNN. Mind you that viewers how hav e being following up with her stories on the Hezbullah would begin to wonder about her credibility and that of the stories. CNN acted correctly. CNN must have noticed her views earlier and would have reprimanded her but may have being waiting for onemore of her implications.

Andrew Jenekeh Kromah Retired News Editor , Freetown, Sierra Leone.

I wished someone would

I wished someone would translate the above comments in languages other than English or it must be mandatory to react in English.

I don't know what parties agreed in the work contract. We have to check first what are the conditions in the contract; if the communication or private policy of the newsagency is explicit mentioned. I believe journalists MUST have an opinion which they can circulate in their social surroundings but not in their work. But if the agency has a policy on this and you agreed with it, you have to behave to it. So, what's in the contract and did she act contrary

Fenny Zandgrond Journalist Suriname

CNN just like any

CNN just like any organisation has its values which must be respected by its staffers. It is very likely that Octavia may have been manifesting this contrary view over a period. The tweet is just a perfect alibi to get rid of her. Employees must learn to respect the values of their employers. that's why it pays the wages.

I do not see anything wrong

I do not see anything wrong with someone.especially ajournalist exercising apoint of vew.This was not done anywhere on CNN journals or archives but on her social site.CNN could not have followed her to the extent of torturing her for saying what she felt at heart for as long as it did not feature in CNN news bulletins. This is what Sir.Thomas More would weep at, people being victimised for expressing their views.CNN seems to be habouring ahidden agenda that someone should tell us.

Allan Ssempebwa Kyobe MassCommunication Student Makerere University,Uganda.

She violated every principle

She violated every principle of good journalism. She deserved to lose her job by posting what she did on such a public forum.
Retired AP foreign correspondent

With twenty years experience

With twenty years experience she ought to know better.Her personality,comments and other related matters are identified or interpreted in line with the medium she represents.It is unfortunate that Journalists operate in such a restrictive nature but it is ethical to avoid such comments through public media.CNN however should have warned her and also dissociate itself from the comment.An outright sack displays the fact that she was never appreciated for the twenty years she worked with the organisation. ADEMOLU OKUNEYE NIGERIAN TELEVISION AUTHORITY

I tried to read the regretted

I tried to read the regretted tweet to know how to comment,but the site would not open...however, in my opinion if she really represented the CNN as a journalist then her views and actions must conform to CNN and all its flowers.I do not think that she will say that she works for or with the Hezbollah.For all you knbow the CNN knew her views all ready from an earlier action or actions and were seeking for an opportunity to deal with her.Why should she later regret and try to defend that she only ......for women's right?I think she knew the results of what she was doing,but that does not mean that a journalist can not express his or her views freely on another network .CNN is beig too harsh if it is the first time she has done that......bit considerate

Whatever view expressed by a

Whatever view expressed by a reporter or editor of a news network while performing his or her official duties, be it on facebook or twitter or the news, is a view of the network. As such the views Octavia Nasr expressed on July 7, are CNN's. In order to distance themselves from her comments, CNN had no choice particularly given the sensitivity of the political climate in that region. I believe she would not have been asked to leave if she had vilified the Hezbollah Cleric regardless of who had protested it.

Whatever view expressed by a

Whatever view expressed by a reporter or editor of a news network while performing his or her official duties, be it on facebook or twitter or the news, is a view of the network. As such the views Octavia Nasr expressed on July 7, are CNN's. In order to distance themselves from her comments, CNN had no choice particularly given the sensitivity of the political climate in that region. I believe she would not have been asked to leave if she had vilified the Hezbollah Cleric regardless of who had protested it.

She was too senior and too

She was too senior and too experienced not to know that this kind of comment would be inappropriate to make. At a time when media houses like CNN are trying to portray objectivity and shed away impressions that they are supportive of particular groups, causes or opinions, the decision is hardly surprising. I however sympathize with her. She's served the Network for such a long time. - Francis Makari, Nairobi, Kenya

She acted without

She acted without discretion.Journalists cannot be separated from their opinions.Maintaining her neutrality especially on sensitive issues such as this is inline with her employers policy..and when she goes off line she needs to be told..whether or not she's pardon is another issue which we should leave to her employers to determine.

Rights of each and every

Rights of each and every people should be ensured to express his/her views.

I believe she did not make comment on behalf of CNN, she was just expressing how she see the Hezbollah cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

CNN should not take a such illegal decision to ask her leave. It should have been considered that apart from being a journalist Octavia Nasr is also a human being.

Its violation of her rights.

I strongly oppose the decision.

CNN is one of the most biased

CNN is one of the most biased organisations in the world. Its work is less journalism, and more of US state propaganda. journalists have to careful when they report, but they have a right to opinion. They espress opinions in editorials. Would Nasr have been fired, had she praised Obama, Bush, or the Saudi King.

She, like every journalist

She, like every journalist must exhibit neutrality. That goes too for every news medium. However, Octavia had not said much to compromise her journalism; don't forget, the Hezbollah cleric had been her source for many years. It should be permissible for a journalist to express sentiment about a source, without necessarily supporting what that source stands for. For instance, many people including journalists are fond of Elton John and would express fond memories of him without supporting Elton John's beliefs. She should be recalled, or she will go to where she would use her vast Middle East experience to develop and propagate even extreme opinion. Alabi Williams, The Guardian, Lagos Nigeria.

All employees, not only

All employees, not only journalists, should be sensitive to their employers' beliefs and stance. Publicly voicing opinion that contradicts this is asking to trouble.

If she had posted the same

If she had posted the same remarks on Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish extremist who killed more than 29 Muslims during prayer at the Al-Ibrahim mosque, the same decision would not have applied to her. This is the reality at CNN, defending Israel at all cost is one of the core values of CNN and anyone who appears not to follow this line will be summarily dismissed just like Octavia .

Abu Ayman Nairobi-Kenya

A tweet is not the suitable

A tweet is not the suitable forum for posting her viewpoint and she said as much subsequently following her termination. She has a right to her opinions, this concept of objective journalists is just that, a concept. Ms. Nasr should have recognized that to adequately express her sentiments regarding the death of a person such as Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadallah requires more than a mere tweet. A person of Ms. Nasr's experience should have recognized the peril of posting something so radioactive.

Bill Schaefer

She is representing a news

She is representing a news agency - not the Huffington Post. Her opinions need to be in line with CNN, and the values of its viewers. It's likely that CNN knew her views in advance and used this as an opportunity to fire her without guilt - or a lawsuit.

Here's why I think what

Here's why I think what Octavia did is wrong (though I'm not saying that the Shekh is a bad guy):

Octavia's twitter address ends with CNN (it was @OctaviaNasrCNN), now what ever the reason she used this "CNN" at the end, it shows that she's related to CNN (also having the Verified account on twitter). So, in my opinion, it's wrong for her to "tweet" her opinion from that account, specially that's she's the senior editor of Mideast affairs. So, she should be responsible for what she said. Finally, I blame CNN for not doing the same with other journalists that showed clear and obvious compassion with Israelis and their opinions.

Thanks, Anonymous,

CNN made a right decision.

CNN made a right decision. Her tweets on the social network were part of her job, and she as a journalist knows better what to say, how and when.

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