What To Do When You're The
Topic Of Newsroom Gossip
What To Do When You're The Topic Of Newsroom Gossip
Newsroom gossip and drama.
Yes, we are STILL dealing with it. You’d think that by now, we, as ADULTS, wouldn’t have to but…here we are.
First of all, let’s just get this out of the way: If YOU are the one doing the gossiping and causing the drama… GROW UP! Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Not sorry.
How many people’s feelings have YOU hurt over the years? Come on. It’s time to grow up. You’re not in middle school, high school, or even college anymore. You are a professional with a career now. Act like it.
For those who are the subject of gossip, keep hanging on. I’ve been there too. It seems like we all have. You get made fun of for what you post on social media, what you wear, what you say, the stories you pitch, etc. I mean seriously, are we still in middle school?
But like I said, keep hanging on. While this can do a number on your self-esteem and mental health, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, here are some suggestions for when you’re still in the dark.
1. Ignore them
There’s the age-old tip, “Just ignore them.” Yes, I know, I know, it’s extremely difficult—but, if you don’t let them SEE that they’re bothering you, they’ll move on to someone else. However, when they do, you need to stick up for that other person. Don’t be a bystander.
2. Kill them with kindness
Yes, equally as difficult, but still effective. The saying exists for a reason! There is even some psychology behind this approach. Your kindness—despite their cruelty—will eat away at them even if they don’t realize it.
3. Confront them
If you are a person who doesn’t mind confrontation, this may be your sign to do it. However, you need to do this in a professional way.
We’re all adults here, remember? Take them somewhere a little more private and say something like,
“Hi (name), I noticed that you’ve been talking about me to some other employees. I just want you to know that I’m aware of what you’ve been saying about me, and that those statements you’re making aren’t true. If you ever want to discuss something that I’ve done or said, please come up to me directly. Until then, I’d appreciate it if you would stop talking about me to our coworkers.”
You can do this in person, but you may also want to write something like this in an email. Either way, you’ll be ready for the next tip.
4. Tell someone
Talk to your managers and/or HR about it. Whether or not you’ve addressed it one-on-one with the person doing the gossip, you can tell your mangers about it.
You should also approach this in a professional way—Don’t go in there crying and screaming and tattling. If you act childish, your managers will see you as childish.
Is gossip and drama childish? Yes. But YOU don’t want to be seen as childish. If you address the issue with professionalism, you will be far less likely to get “written off” and have your bosses just roll their eyes. Should your managers act that way? No. But this is the reality of a lot of these situations. So, if you act like a professional, you’ll get treated like a professional.
If these tips don’t solve the problem, then it sounds like the whole station is toxic from the top to the bottom. Keep brining it up to HR. You may even have to go higher up the ladder with HR—But, if the station really is that toxic, then you may be doing the whole newsroom a favor by brining it up to the “higher ups.” Just remember, do it professionally.
Overall, please, keep hanging in there. If nothing else, your experiences will make you have thick skin and over time, what people say really won’t bother you.
I know from experience that it does take practice and time to get to a stage where you’re unbothered, but once you get there, it’s actually pretty nice! So keep working hard. You’ll come out on top eventually. Just sit back and let Karma do her thing. 😎