Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In begging for breaks newspapers now in deep with politicians

'Washington Papers Paid Dearly for Tax Cut,' Reflections of a Newsosaur: "While every little bit admittedly helps embattled publishers, this special gift instantly made the publishers more beholden than they properly should be to Gov. Chris Gregoire and legislators
  • who overwhelmingly backed the measure in spite of a budget deficit estimated at more than $8 billion – and climbing.
In lobbying aggressively for the tax break, the publishers sacrificed their moral authority to challenge favoritism, fiscal imprudence and self-dealing on the part of the state government and the dozens of political figures who supported the measure. Further, this dangerous bargain compromises the credibility of the newspapers by leaving readers to wonder:
  • :: Will the political leaders who supported the tax break be accorded favorable treatment – or outright immunity – in the coverage of any real or alleged transgressions in the future?
  • :: Will the paper fairly cover upcoming political campaigns involving the politicians who supported the tax break?
:: Will future political endorsements be tilted in favor of the politicians who helped the newspapers?
  • But thoughtful readers will be left wondering. And that can’t be good for business." via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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