Full Disclosure for Journalists
Will Collier, remarking on Mickey Kaus’ admission that he donated $300 to the Kerry campaign, wonders why such disclosures aren’t standard practice.
It’s a hard-and-fast ethical standard among financial reporters and columnists that they disclose any personal stake they have in companies, funds, or people that they’re covering. Why should news writers be any different? Would the republic collapse if Peter Jennings announced that he wouldn’t vote for George W. Bush even if he were offered a lifetime supply of aged Coulommiers brie? Would Jennings’ viewers really be so mis-served to know in straightforward terms where he’s coming from?
If James Glassman is expected to reveal in every column which companies he’s invested in, why shouldn’t Dana Milbank and Adam Nagourney have full-disclosure blurbs about how they voted in the last couple of elections, to say nothing about how they plan to vote this year? Is there any good reason why not?
To save space, we could limit it to those who voted Republican.