Tweet Tweet, You’re Fired
As expected, the blogosphere has exploded after the whole Catherine Deveny debarcle. I’ve read quite a few different pieces on the matter, most of which start with the same sentiment: I don’t like Catherine Deveny, but…
The best piece I’ve found would have to be this one, by Amy Gray [read it, particularly if you’re interested in writing/media]. I am in full accordance. I rarely find Catherine Deveny funny, however I do understand that her comments were made in the name of humour.
Jokes are meant to be funny. Sometimes they are also offensive. Personally, I didn’t find Deveny’s “jokes” either funny or overly offensive, but that is beside the point. As a media personality, she has made a name for herself as a crass and opinionated writer. This is why The Age appointed her in the first place. So how come, after some arguably tasteless commentary published on her own personal Twitter account, have they now decided to let her go?
Clearly The Age don’t realise how Twitter works. Deveny’s tweets, while public, were delivered to people who chose to follow her. Or people who chose to view her account. Nobody else. Generally, one would assume that those people who did choose to follow Deveny, would be fans of her writing, and therefore not affected by these comments. Maybe they even found them funny.
The other issue here, is that Deveny is a feelance personality. She contributes to more than one brand, not just The Age. They do not own her. By no means do people assume that she speaks as a representative for their publication. As for her “controversial” views, it was this ability to polarise people that brought Deveny to prominence in the first place. You shouldn’t be able to fire someone for conforming to the principles on which she was hired.