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Old Media suppression of its reporters’ political activities cannot be defended on either ethical or business grounds 6/21/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Reporter contributions.
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If your boss told you that you were forbidden from exercising your rights as an American citizen to contribute financially to political campaigns or engage in political activity, what would you say? Somehow, “yes, sir!” was not the first thing that popped into my head, which apparently disqualifies me from employment at ABC, CBS, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. I learned this today from an MSNBC article, which played “gotcha” with journalists who made political contributions, but buried the lede that Old Media plantation masters deny their reporters basic rights of citizenship.

But beyond this breach of ethics in denying reporters their rights, do these Old Media policies even make business sense? One of the biggest of Old Media’s big problems is that the public no longer trusts them — Pew research shows that only 17% think newspapers are highly believable, and Gallup polling shows 83% believe the news media are biased. Do they really think they can regain our trust by having us fall for the silly notion that their reporters are political eunuchs whose ideological passions have been “fixed”? Come to think of it, since their reporters have already proven that they lack the necessary anatomical parts to stand-up for their rights as citizens, perhaps the Old Media have a point.

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