NPR warns journos on protest march

NPR is warning its employees that they can’t participate in a national march against police violence in Washington this weekend.

Its standards and practices editor, Mark Memmott, issued the clarification today.

It’s a bit of a no-brainer for journalists, although Memmott suggests non-journalists follow the same guidelines.

The question will be asked: “If my job does not touch on NPR’s journalism, can I attend and participate in this or any other ‘political’ march?”

We can’t give an answer that would cover everyone and every eventuality. The best advice is to discuss it beforehand with your supervisor.

We can say that those who are in “outward-facing” positions — jobs that sometimes put them in the position of representing NPR to the outside world — should adhere to the same guidelines that our journalists follow.

Another question sure to come up is about social media. The same guidelines we spelled out before Election Day apply to marches and rallies.

Not clear in the direction is whether an NPR employee could wear a shirt like the one several athletes have donned lately.

San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram wears a shirt with the words, “I Can’t Breathe,” while warming up before playing the New England Patriots in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, in San Diego. More professional athletes were wearing “I Can’t Breathe” messages Sunday in protest of a grand jury ruling not to indict an officer in the death of a New York man. Denis Poroy / AP