Journalistic Ethics: The Pentagon Story

I've just re-read the NYT scathing expose of the massive PR machine that is the Bush/Rumsfeld Pentagon, and I'm struck (yet again) at how far removed today's TV news organizations seem to be from what I believe to be core journalistic ethics: transparency and the absolute avoidance of the appearance of conflict of interest. I don't know what's more amazing: how little oversight the network handlers employed or what appears to be rampant greed (access to power for self or employer) on the part of former military colonels and generals (the only ranks identified). For example, the network news organizations "raised no objections when the Defense Department began paying their commercial airfare for Pentagon-sponsored trips to Iraq — a clear ethical violation for most news organizations." The story will (properly) be used to counter those who insist that citizen journalists or people who use blogging software as their publishing platform are somehow innately inferior to credentialed journalists/news organizations. Read the damning responses from the networks to the 10,000 word expose: …continue reading →