...busting up my brains for the words

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Journalistic ethics?

Checking my email, I found this copy from author Dan Cohen of Anonymous Source;

I sent this into the S/T [StarTribune] today, and then it occurred to me that I might as well send it on to a few other people since there's no way the alternative to the alternative newspaper would ever publish it..

To the Editor:
Your "Readers' Representative's" endless, hair-splitting ramble into the thickets of journalistic ethics may convince some readers you actually care about such matters, but the truth is, you don't.
During the trial of Cohen v. Cowles Media, in which I sued your paper for breaking your promise to treat me as an anonymous source, you produced a witness, David Anderson, a reporter for the Star/Tribune. Anderson testified that he had written a book, Investigative Reporting, that had "gone through six printings and it's been used on more campuses than any of the other books on the topic." Here's an excerpt--one of many-- that gives the aspiring reporter a view of the kind of journalistic ethics he will be using in practicing his profession:
"Many fundamental techniques of investigative reporting involve actions some would label dishonest, fraudulent, immoral, and perhaps even illegal. Most reporters use deceptive techniques to gather information."
Again, that was the Star/Tribune's witness. Not ours. Bottom line: we won the case at trial, and we won it again on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. A promise is a promise. A lie is a lie. And believe me, there just ain't no such animal as "journalistic ethics."
Dan Cohen

Meanwhile over at Powerline, they write of the Strib;

If the Star Tribune isn't the worst newspaper in the United States, it's tied with whatever newspaper is.


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