Since The Subject Is “Integrity”

To: Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, Hosts, NPR’s On The Media
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Concern For Journalistic Integrity

Ms. Gladstone / Mr. Garfield

I caught your story in this week’s edition of On The Media criticizing NBC for paying, not only for footage (of this spectacular skydiving accident) but for exclusive access to the principals to the story.

This – paying for access to news – is one of those things that furrow the brows of journo-wonks.   And the two of you were audibly furrowed.  Gotta hand you that.

So – paying for access to a news story is bad.  Gotcha.

So is being paid by a partisan pressure group to run a news story even worse?

Get back to us on this.

That is all.

7 thoughts on “Since The Subject Is “Integrity”

  1. I have a tangential relationship to the skydiving story. My wife’s friend is married to one of the jumpers and I took my tandem jump at Skydive Superior. For a small additional fee, another jumper videotaped me for an excellent commemorative DVD. In other words, they not only sell skydiving lessons, they also produce and sell video.

    NBC paid a bit more for its tape than I did for mine but the principle is exactly the same and frankly, mine is not nearly as thrilling so naturally, it cost less. The notion that “the public has a right to know” imposes on private businesses some obligation to produce a product then voluntarily give it to networks who profit on that video (by selling time to advertisers) is sanctimonious flapdoodle.

  2. So is being paid by a partisan pressure group to run a news story even worse?

    Let’s be honest, they’d have run the story anyway since it fell within their prejudices. Collecting cash for running it was actually more honest than their usual mode of operation.

  3. Tangent I’ve been curious about:
    Say you did something newsworthy (like ‘Joe the Plumber’ flummoxing a not very bright but beloved presidential candidate) and members of the Democrat Dominated Media Culture (DDMC) started calling you on the phone to harrass, er uh, ask you questions, want comments, etc. Would you have the right (after having asked them to stop calling you and they didn’t) to file a complaint and sue the DDMC corporation like you would if some telemarketer was wearing out your phone to sell you replacement windows or aluminum siding?

  4. I lived in Superior for a while and watch the NBC show. I am glad NBC bought temp rights for this as it was a great show/

    Now, I watched a little of Minn Public Television last night. The upper channel cable version. It was right wing hatred against the Jewish state (aka Israel). Now I do have a problem with my tax dollars going to promote this anti-Semitic crap.

  5. LIstened a bit to MPR on the way home, and noticed that it’s not just the Joyce Foundation sponsoring–I mean advertising on–MPR. It’s also Al Jezeera. OK, so why is a news organization sponsoring one of its competitors? Hmmm……

  6. Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. I am certain that whatever Al Jazeera does is done to promote the interests of the government of Qatar.

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