Monday, June 25, 2007

Outing reporters' politics

If you saw this report, which told on every reporter's political contribution money you may have asked yourself, "Why does anyone care?"

BOSTON - A CNN reporter gave $500 to John Kerry's
campaign the same month he was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq. An assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine not only sent $2,000 to Republicans, but also volunteers as a director of an ExxonMobil-funded group that questions global warming. A junior editor at Dow Jones Newswires gave $1,036 to the liberal group and keeps a blog listing "people I don't like," starting with George Bush, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, the NRA and corporate America ("these are the people who are really in charge").

This supposedly sensational story is supposed to illustrate that journalists have ethical problems. Personally, I think it just shows they have political beliefs that they probably don't publicize.

I'm not one of these people who believes because you work for a publication, most commonly a newspaper, you are not allowed to have any political views. You are not allowed to run for office or campaign for anyone because this might show partiality. But rummaging around to rat out a Daily Record (York, Penn.) copy editor for a $500 donation to a congressman last year?

I think ethics are good, but I don't think political contributions is a problem unless you are covering said political race.

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