Dallas TV critic Ed Bark writes the latest chapter of an ever-thicker and ever-sicker story about TV stations selling “news” time to hospitals that want to look good on the air.
As I’ve asked before, when is the Radio-Television News Directors Association going to step up and address this situation, which is addressed in its own code of ethics but apparently almost universally ignored? Excerpts of that code:
Professional electronic journalists should:
* Gather and report news without fear or favor, and vigorously resist undue influence from any outside forces, including advertisers, sources, story subjects, powerful individuals, and special interest groups.
* Resist those who would seek to buy or politically influence news content or who would seek to intimidate those who gather and disseminate the news.
* Determine news content solely through editorial judgment and not as the result of outside influence.
* Resist any self-interest or peer pressure that might erode journalistic duty and service to the public.
* Recognize that sponsorship of the news will not be used in any way to determine, restrict, or manipulate content.
* Refuse to allow the interests of ownership or management to influence news judgment and content inappropriately.