Having been a traditional print journalist years ago (and now obviously a blogger and a newsletter writer), I noted with particular interest the Today Show’s coverage of David Goldman’s recovery of his son from Brazil.
The reason for my interest is that NBC chartered the jet on which Goldman and his son Sean were flown back to the United States. I don’t know whether NBC also paid for Goldman’s accommodations in Brazil or anything else, but I’m betting that the company did so.
Certainly, helping the Tinton Falls, N.J. real estate agent and charter-fishing boat captain with his exorbitant expenses must be characterized as a humanitarian gesture. However, it was not altruistic.
No upstanding journalist will argue that it is ethical to pay a source for access, and it’s hypocritical for NBC to maintain that it doesn’t give money or other benefits to newsmakers. (more…)