Wednesday, February 02, 2011

LA Times updated employee ethics guidelines--no voting on MLB Hall of Fame

"Awards... Under no circumstances may staff members accept awards from groups they cover. A staff member who is offered an award should consult his or her supervisor before accepting it.

The Times, like many other news organizations, does not allow its sportswriters to participate in voting for baseball’s Hall of Fame, college football’s Heisman Trophy and national rankings in college sports, among other areas. Participation in these polls creates possibilities for conflicts of interest. Similar issues arise in the arts when journalists are invited to vote for awards and prizes in film, literature and other fields.

In general, it is inappropriate for reporters to vote for awards and rankings; doing so could reasonably be seen as compromising their objectivity. For critics, whose job is to express opinions on the merits of creative works, awards voting is less troublesome.

Nevertheless, any staff member invited to vote for an award must first receive the permission of the editor or a managing editor. This pertains as well to anyone asked to serve as a contest juror or to vote on an award that honors journalism. No staff member who votes for an award – whether in sports, the arts or any other area –

from "Los Angeles Times Ethics Guidelines," January 2011

via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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