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Outing alert ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by PeteyPirate, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Newspaper outs donors who wanted to remain anonymous. Good practice or not cool?

  2. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    The newspaper was definitely right for investigating and for publishing a story about the investigation. However, without more information, I'm not so certain about whether publishing the names was the right thing to do. How much speculation was there about this and how contentious was the issue? I would definitely publish the names if the investigation turned up anything suspicious, but in this case, it didn't sound that way. Could the newspaper have printed a story about its investigation and with all the details except for the donors' names and age (a "We investigated, here's what we found, and since we found no cause for suspicion, we'll respect the request for anonymity" stance)? I certainly understand the need to pursue the truth and open information, but if the truth is that there was no shady ties, why not grant an innocent request for anonymity? Sometimes I think actions such as this is part of the reason the public has a negative view of journalists.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    They have no ties, what's the big deal?
    The lead is almost an accusatory one. They SAY they have no ties, but we know better....

    Poor job by the paper
  4. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I think the best argument to be made by the newspaper is that nobody who enters into such a transaction can truly be anonymous, whether they want to or not. It's public record. If you want to stay private, donate to a private organization.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You are giving $10 million. Good for you. If you follow the Bible, you should not seek publicity for your gift. So great.

    But the law says the public has the right to that information. The donors have done all the could to remain anonymous so they lose nothing by being named against their wishes.

    They remain true to their convictions, the public can make up its mind on whether some backdoor deals were made.

    I see no problem.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    If someone gave $10 million to my town, I'd want to know who it was and what their motives were. I understand the criticism, but the paper would take heat no matter what it did.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Why would you care, Frank? I guess I just don't get all this talk of side deals and whatever. I guess I just don't care. $10 mil is $10 mil.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Because when people give money, they usually think it buys them more say than regular people. There are exceptions. But if someone gave my town $10 million, I would not trust the politicians' word that it's not something we ought to worry our heads about. Would you?
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    This is why I believe the public's right to know outweighs the individual's right to privacy. It's 10 fucking million dollars, for Chrissakes!
  10. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Ace: A question?

    Where is that reference in the Bible? I have been trying to find it. I know it's there, but I am unsure where? Can you help me?
  11. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    It's a parable in one of the gospels. It talks about the Pharisee, or some religious leader, going to the temple and making a big deal over how generous he was and how much he prayed. Then a poor woman drops a little change, which is a much smaller gift but bigger sacrifice for her, and prays in the back. Jesus praised her and said the Pharisee's reward is there on earth, but her's is in heaven.
  12. gretchd

    gretchd Member


    I think you might be merging two different occurrences. In Matthew 6:1-15, Jesus addresses the issue of praying in private and giving in humility.

    In Mark 12:41-43 is the story of the widow's offering, but nothing is mentioned about giving for public attention.
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