Friday, June 22, 2007

Journalists giving political campaign contributions

A rather interesting report has appeared on MSNBC detailing 144 journalists from different organisations have been making financial political contributions to campaigns over the past three years. According to the report most of the contributions lean to the left.
A CNN reporter gave $500 to John Kerry's campaign the same month he was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq. An assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine not only sent $2,000 to Republicans, but also volunteers as a director of an ExxonMobil-funded group that questions global warming. A junior editor at Dow Jones Newswires gave $1,036 to the liberal group and keeps a blog listing "people I don't like," starting with George Bush, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, the NRA and corporate America ("these are the people who are really in charge").
So is it a scandal? After all the US media is free, it is by no means non-partisan, nor is it impartial. So should we be surprised by such revelations. What this does make me wonder though is how many (if any) UK journalists have donated money to our party political system. Also under what circumstances we might have a right to know anyway?

If they were say BBC employees perhaps it would be reasonable, but if a hack from Guardian which is a private organisation had been donating money to Labour politicians does it really matter?


Anonymous said...

Dizzy - Yes. We should know if a publically funded journalist -i.e., a BBC employee - was making campaign contributions.

About the others, I don't think it's our business. Most journalists are not politically neutral, and we can usually deduct from their writing which party they favour. In fact,most of us only read pieces by kindred spirits.

Chris Paul said...

Bollocks Verity. Donations have to be published anyway, beyond the trivial. Isn't it £500 in any accounting period, or £1000 in a rolling year?

The idea that people working for certain organisations should have to reveal more about donations than others is both illiberal and unfair in the extreme. They're all just workers.

There's journalism and there's comment. You may be confusing the two in your second para.

Anonymous said...

Chris -you're not trying to upset Verity again are you?