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Re: Journalism Ethics

Dan Wrote:
<<WGME is selling a video tape of coverage of Op Sail Maine 2000.  The TV 
commercial for the tape includes news anchor Doug Rafferty selling the tape 
including plugging the number to call to buy the tape.  >>


   the most amazing thing of all?  they were airing the spot before the first 
ships had sailed past the Newschannel 13 Anchor (irony there?) position at 
Fort Williams State Park in front of the Portland Head Light.  my wife and 
were laughing at the possibility of, oh, lets say some pleasure boater 
getting rammed by the Libertad... would that have been on the "tape"???  of 
course, the other thing was that they had aired the spot at the beginning (as 
well as thoughout their hours-long coverage).  those who hadn't had the idea 
of videotaping the event themselves probably took the remaining two minutes 
of the commercial break to pop a blank tape in the machine.
   ethical?  sure.  it was a NEWS event.  it was hosted by the NEWS anchors.  
and if the company would rather have one of their NEWS "stars" doing the sell 
than the kid down the hall at the resident radio station or even having their 
v/o Deity Jim Cutler voice it, then so be it.  Doug isn't selling used cars.  
he is selling his talents, as well as those of his co-anchor and their guest 
analysts.  the anchors, Doug and Kim, in particular, lend their talents to 
many efforts in this community.  (and they even sing and dance and, yes, wear 
Yankee uniforms for a good cause<oxymoron mode off>) and to that end, they do 
the "sell" of the spot on television, encouraging us to attend the 
"event"/cause celeb.
     for too long, the media has put the news professionals on a different 
level than those of us who are on-air professionals.  and i know far too many 
newsies who have long suffered watching Johnny Jock get a seventy-five dollar 
talent fee for selling used cars while they are not "supposed" to shill for 
fear of endangering their credibility.  who is to say that if they lend their 
talents (and for a fee, darn it) to a sales pitch that they would be any less 
credible in their news presentation?  personally, i'd rather see Kim Block 
selling me a car than Jolly John.  (Hi HO!)

- -Chuck (will say almost anything for $$$ and will admit it) Igo