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Journalists and political donations

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by statrat, Jun 21, 2007.


Is it acceptable for journalists to make political donations?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Only if they are not covering politics

  1. statrat

    statrat Member


    Saw this story on MSNBC.com this morning about journalists making political donations and found it interesting. Searched and didn't see it anywhere else, so forgive me if it's a D_B.
    I'm of the opinion that if you are conveying information to the public you should not be making political donations, no matter what your beat or role is, and if your organization allows you to, you should be making full disclosure to readers. Found the story about the television reporter fawning all over the congressional candidate pretty ridiculous, and the fact that Scarborough gave $5,000 to a Republican candidate comes to light while he is running promos saying "No party owns me. The Republican party doesn't own me. The Democratic party doesn't own me" was amusing. The reactions by some of the reporters, who seemed to think that no one would ever find out about their donations were embarrassing. If anyone should know that pretty much anything can be found with some digging, it should be reporters.

    Thats just my .02...discuss amongst yourselves.
  2. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Journalists have at least a moral obligation - like all Americans - to vote and be informed on civic matters and elections.

    Journalists should not contribute in situations where they cover an issue or are able to influence coverage. If you cover a city, you obviously shouldn't contribute or openly offer support for a candidate in that city. I would say that would even apply to someone who wrote an opinion column.

    So, somebody working for a New York paper shouldn't contribute to a mayoral candidate in New York or any other political office. But, what about if they live in New Jersey and their neighbor is running for school board. That's where it gets tricky. I would say if would be OK to contribute and offer advice. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable if the NYC reporter was a campaign manager or hooked the school board candidate up with some politcal consultants or contributors. That would be going over the line.
  3. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Reading that story made me feel sick. What a bunch of dipshits. And it plays into every horrible stupid sterotype about the liberal media...hell, Drudge had it as his lead item in 80 point type. Look, you're in this business, you don't give money to politicians or political causes. Period.
    Of course, if I had $500 lying around, I would be more likely to set it on fire or spend it all on Skittles then I would be to give it to a politician or a political party.
  4. statrat

    statrat Member

    I wonder what setting $500 on fire would look like? Sadly, I'll probably never know.
  5. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    The two things I found funny from that story:

    1. The Omaha reporter with a photo on her Facebook page of herself cheek-to-cheek with a political candidate urging people to vote for him, and she didn't realize that was a mistake.

    2. Gideon Yago of MTV whining about not having a "private" life. Dude, if you're going to play journalist and do some attempted hard-hitting documentaries that get wedged in the schedule between "My Super Sweet 16" and "Real World/Road Rules Challenge," you don't have a private life.
  6. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    I was extremely shocked that that level of donations among journalists was so slanted to democrats and liberal causes. It was just as surprising to me when I learned the Washington Press Corps had voted something like 88 percent for the Democratic Presidential candidate the last three elections......

    Yep, liberal bias in the media is fiction and just a product of paranoia among right wingers
  7. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Actually, I thought Gideon Yago had a point. What you do or did for a living, doesn't mean that you give up your privacy.
    MSNBC also turned up just 144 people, and I wouldn't call all of them journalists, how about employees of media companies, who gave money to politicians or political causes.
    Some were real stretches and if your name is on a joint checking account and your wife sends a check, does that mean you gave money?
    Regardless, that 144 isn't even one tenth on of one percent of all the people employed by media companies.
    It really is a non-issue.
  8. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I agree with Jay that it's a non-issue, because I would hope most of us realize that donating to politicians crosses the line. I've never hidden here that I'm a Democrat, but you'll never see a bumper sticker on my truck or a button on my shirt. Even though I work in sports, I never should do anything that could call into question the integrity and objectivity of myself or my employer.
  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Perception. Perception is the problem.
    Don't give money. Don't slap on the bumper sticker. Don't place the yard sign. Don't wear the school logo of the college football team you cover.
    All you're doing is opening yourself up for questioning and criticism. Be a professional. Be as objective as you can be.
  10. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    I think that little sliver is probably a very accurate portrayal of the ratio of dem's and lib's to rep's and conservatives among journalists, journalism professors, which is why the claims of liberal bias in the media certainly hold at least some water.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I see the one-trick pony is still performing.
  12. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    And dumb-ass dipshits like Gideon Yago give one trick ponies a reason to perform. This will give press-bashers fuel for years and years...if I ever see Gideon Yago, I'm punching him in the nuts. You wanna do something good with your money? Give it to charity, not to MoveOn.com...and if you feel that strongly about giving money to MoveOn.com, quit the business.
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