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Tricky Ethics: Ed Reporter Gets Paid For Advice

The Alexandria Times raises an unusual issue today: Can journalists also be consultants? The publication reports that the Alexandria Public Schools Superintendent hired Carla Branch, cofounder and education reporter for Alexandria News, as a consultant and paid her $75 an hour to counsel district officials.

Branch, who formerly worked for the Alexandria Gazette Packet and Alexandria Times, told the Times, “I do not [see a conflict of interest].”  Among other duties, she drafted a communication plan and occasionally wrote press releases.

Alexandria News‘ co-founder Roger Digillio said he “absolutely” didn’t see a conflict of interest. What a shocker: Neither did Superintendent Morton Sherman.

Read the full story here.

Note to Readers: Tell us what you think. Is this shady or right on par with today’s journalism? Write us at FishbowlDC@mediabistro.com or to Betsy@mediabistro.com.

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