When journalists become flacks: Two views on what to do and when to do it

TitleWhen journalists become flacks: Two views on what to do and when to do it
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsWright, N, Van Hoesen, J
PublisherIndiana University School of Journalism
Publication Languageeng
AbstractFlak on flack: A recent New York Times profile of avowedly socialist Congressman Bernard Sanders (Independent-VT) characterized him as “a maverick . . . [and] the first genuinely Independent candidate . . . since 1950 . . .” But while Sanders was wowing Washington, he was also vexing Vermonters by appointing a veteran political reporter as his press secretary. Nothing new about that. Despite their traditionally adversarial stance, journalists and press agents operate from two sides of the same coin: information (as opposed to lobbying). But what if Sanders’s press secretary had begun working on his behalf while still wearing her journalist’s hat? A reporter who reluctantly suspected such a scenario discusses her struggle to get the facts — and get them printed. A managing editor considers events from his point of view and draws a few lessons from the exercise.
NotesFineLine: The Newsletter On Journalism Ethics, vol. 3, no. 8 (September 1991), pp. 2-3, 8.
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