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Posts Tagged ‘Andy Schotz’

Cable News as a Breeding Ground, and Stopover, For Once and Future Politicians

MSNBC calls itself The Place for Politics, but the NBC news channel as well as Fox News, CNN, and CNBC are under the microscope for paying politicians to be analysts, who are out of office now, but may not be for long.

Sarah Palin
, Mike Huckabee, Chris Matthews, Larry Kudlow, Harold Ford, and Lou Dobbs are just a few of the analysts and show hosts who’ve either held office or have contemplated a run for office.

Brian Stelter writes about it in today’s NYTimes:

The benefit for the part-time, but highly paid, pundits is clear: it increases their visibility. “It makes sense for candidates to seek out positions in niche cable, because it is a direct pipeline to voters,” said Jonathan Wald, a former senior vice president at CNBC and an adjunct professor at Columbia’s journalism school. “It’s an automatic affinity group.”

The benefit to the viewers is less clear. Some experts say the arrangements can cloud the objectivity of the news organizations.

“As long as they are still newsmakers, there is a strong potential for conflict,” said Andy Schotz, the chairman of the ethics committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. At the very least, it can amount to an advantage for the analysts, and create a perception of favoritism.

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SPJ Slams NBC’s ‘Checkbook Journalism.’ ‘NBC Jeopardized its Journalistic Independence and Credibility’

Goldman_12.30.jpgAs TVNewser first reported last Thursday morning, NBC News paid to charter a flight from Brazil to the U.S. to bring David Goldman and his 9-year-old son Sean home. The flight even stopped over in Orlando so NBC News correspondent Jeff Rossen could do a live shot for NBC Nightly News on Christmas Eve.

Well, the Society of Professional Journalists isn’t very happy about all this.

Calling it “checkbook journalism,” the SPJ put out a news release that reads in part:

By making itself part of a breaking news story on which it was reporting – apparently to cash in on the exclusivity assured by its expensive gesture – NBC jeopardized its journalistic independence and credibility in its initial and subsequent reports. In effect, the network branded the story as its own, creating a corporate and promotional interest in the way the story unfolds. NBC’s ability to report the story fairly has been compromised by its financial involvement.

SPJ Ethics Committee Chairman Andy Schotz says, “NBC must now, belatedly, explain why it entangled its news reporting and corporate interests in this story, as well as the terms of any deal it made with the Goldman family.”

In addition to being interviewed on board the flight home, Goldman was interviewed on the “Today” show yesterday and will be part of a two-hour “Dateline” on Jan. 8.

NBC began reporting on the Goldman saga earlier this year. But the story was first brought to light on WABC, ABC’s owned & operated station in New York. David Goldman lives in New Jersey.