When journalists work for deadbeat companies

There’s a great post by Scott Herrick at Cube Rules on Deadbeat Companies.

Herrick says companies must shoulder most of the blame when they have deadbeat employees. He then lists five signs of a deadbeat company.

Item 2 is: Companies that are more concerned about the time you spend than the results you make.

He writes:

The amount of effort management expends ensuring you are at the office, limiting your time off, focusing on “butts in the chair,” and hounding you about being ten minutes late in the middle of a blizzard is astonishing.

You want to focus on the time spent at work? That’s the result you get: time spent at work. And then management calls all these people out as lazy bums who don’t want to work when the focus of management has nothing to do with results, only time.

This is true in media companies. A publisher who expects journalists to clock watch and stay chained to the desk will fail. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Great journalism doesn’t happen on a scheduled timetable, nor does it happen at the desktop. It can take place any time, anywhere. The same applies to creativity.

The best journalists are creative free spirits. They don’t mind working hard – good journos put in far more than the contracted number of hours. But those hours may be spent propping up a bar or sipping coffee – all in the pursuit of news. Treating them like factory hands in a dark satanic mill is a way to make sure nobody will want to read their words.