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Re: Journalism Ethics

In a message dated 08/06/2000 10:54:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Dib9 writes:

<< A commentator is paid for his or her opinion.  A journalist is supposedly 
objectively reporting the facts.  When someone paid to provide opinions also 
does ads, I do not see a conflict.  When someone who is supposed to be a 
reporter uses some of their credibility for commercial purposes, I do see a 
problem. >>

you still did not answer my question:  when Rush Limbaugh (to be totally 
specific now) who is a talk show host AND commentator reports to his 
listeners items as FACTS, he is no longer a commentator.  he is now a 
journalist/reporter, as he himself tells me, that he is providing the true 
story held in his "formerly nicotined-stained fingers", the story that one 
would not hear on the liberal/democ.media.
   so when Rush becomes a reporter, and yet can lend his name and likeness to 
his own profit (ie:  books, tv shows, etc)., is that not the same thing of 
which you seem sour????
   and again:  Doug, in this case, is inviting the viewers to purchase a copy 
of a news event that seemed to have had the undivided interest of almost a 
half-million people who lined the shores of Portland Harbor...  he is not 
selling airchecks.  and he was probably told by his news 
director/and-or/station manager to "just read the script".  neither is he 
selling pizzas or cars in this case.

and additionally, Dan asked:
<<Now it's OK for the anchor of the 6PM News to do ads?>>

   why not.  if Doug or Jack Williams or Chet or Peter Jennings or Dan wanna 
step in front of the camera and, with a sweeping gesture of their 
Timex-wrapped wrist (oops, did i bring into play yet another long-standing 
"violation" of this discussion???) point to a lot full of cars and intone 
that "... great selection and some pretty darn good prices...".  advertising 
is NOT always lies.  ( i hate to shatter bubble and the Secret Oath of 
Secrecy)  sometimes, an advertiser actually uses the simple truth to the 
message out.  and if the message is truth, then why should there be any sort 
of problem with the messenger????  
   calling to mind the previous example of ethical conundrums, a news 
reporter who has an interest beyond the scope of an objective observer would, 
and usually does, tell the news director to find someone else to do the 
story.  if "Scoop's" brother-in-law owns the land on which the toxic waste 
was found or owned the dealership which sold all of those exploding Pintos 
and Corvairs, then Scoop would, hopefully, have to "beg off" the assignment.  
if Scoop didn't, then Scoop was probably not too possessed of the 
aforementioned ethics to begin with.  and one would hope that Scoop would, if 
he'd done the commercial for ConvenientToxicDumps'R'Us or 
MySis'sHubby'sUsedCars, exercise the ethical guidelines to not report any 
story involving the former client.

- -Chuck Igo