Study of Journo Campaign Giving Leads to Firings
KTPM Omaha fired reporter Calvert Collins, who had posted her photo with a congressional candidate on her Facebook page with the caption, "Vote for him Tuesday, November 7!"
"In a way, I'm glad this happened to me at age 23, and not 33," Collins said, "and I will learn from it."
Being fired is probably not the lesson she expected to learn.
Freelance editorial cartoonist Paul Fell will no longer be drawing cartoons for the Lincoln, Nebraska "Journal Star" due in large part to snide comments he made when it was disclosed that he had donated $450 to Maxine Moul, a Democrat candidate for Congress. Editor Kathleen Rutledge wrote,
"Fell’s comments make it clear he does not care about guarding this newspaper’s trust with readers...We don’t think he should treat our credibility with such disdain."
And finally, the Spokane "Spokesman-Review" decided to drop the "New York Times" ethics column written by Randy Cohen before it even started running this week. Cohen donated $585 to MoveOn.org in violation of his employer's policy against making such political donations. According to MSNBC, Cohen had thought the political action group was "nonpartisan."
Also according to the MSNBC update, the Fort Worth "Star-Telegram" is going to begin reviewing its ethics policies. I have a feeling a lot of news organizations are going to be taking a closer look at possible conflicts of interest when it comes to political donations by journalists and other newsroom staffers.