Sex isn’t the only way to spoil a news relationship

Sleeping with a source seems like such a transparently bad idea there wouldn’t seem to be much point exploring why journalists shouldn’t do it. But with The Los Angeles Times summarily firing one of its top investigative reporters after he told his bosses he’d had a brief affair with an informant, it seems worthwhile to […]

Fox News offers another candidate for high office

Originally published Feb. 11, 2013 The spectacle of TV personality Geraldo Rivera using his soapbox with Fox News to test-market a possible run for the U.S. Senate has, not surprisingly, caused some real journalists to cough up hairballs. “If an on-air person makes any pretense about being a journalist, then obviously he should not be […]

On transparency: When coming clean isn’t clean enough

  TechCrunch is a highly regarded news site that was founded in 2005 and won a reputation for scoops on Silicon Valley dealmaking. AOL bought it last year as one of several big moves by the onetime online powerhouse—moves that included acquiring Huffington Post and installing impresario Arianna Huffington as AOL editorial chief—to reinvent itself […]

A Robust Future for Conflict of Interest

This was first published in: Christopher Meyers, ed., Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach. NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. Conflict of interest has become a centerpiece in the claim by Internet-based commentators to moral superiority over their legacy news media counterparts. The insistence of so-called mainstream journalists that they are free not just of private material […]

The prickly problem of conflict of interest in cable news

Published: November 9, 2009 I watch Howard Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources” media-review show most Sunday mornings on CNN. That’s partly because since Fox News scrapped its weekly “News Watch,” it’s the only regular program on national television that looks at the news media critically. That’s also because Kurtz, the Washington Post’s chief media writer, does a […]