MSNBC reported earlier this week that 144 journalists, since dropped to 143, contributed to political campaigns. Furthermore, they didn’t disclose their contributions to their readers. Many of the reporters are on the periphery (i.e. copy editors, lifestyle critics and writers) and can’t really be held to the same standards hard news reporters are. Opinion writers get a bigger pass from me. Also, you look at a list of thousands of reporters and you find a few more than a hundred, I think that shows the numbers are few. I noticed those pieces of context were missing when Michelle Malkin and Bill O’Reilly gloated over the report.
Still, reporters and editors shouldn’t be contributing to political campaigns. I know some reporters disagree with me, and there is some truth to the argument that we involve ourselves in churches and other organizations in our communities with little thought to losing our objectivity. I still draw a line at politics, and so does the Society of Professional Journalists.
I won an award from the local region (Washington, Oregon, parts of Idaho and Montana) of the Society of Professional Journalists for my blog. Not this one. Heavens no. It’s for one of the two I do for my day job.
Best Web Log (General News and Commentary)
1. D.F. Oliveria, Spokesmanreview.com, “Huckleberries online”
2. Angelo Bruscas, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Seattle@Nite”
3. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, “The Trail”
HM. Steven Gardner, KitsapSun.com, “The Bremerton beat”
HM. Stacey Mulick, Adam Lynn, thenewstribune.com, “Lights and sirens”
One should never take these awards too seriously, win or lose. This year I entered in a few other categories and didn’t get a sniff. The other blog, “Tracking the Speedway,” didn’t earn a mention, but its best stuff has come this year. The other awards I entered were for print stories and in all honesty I would have been surprised to win for any of those. The standard rule of thumb for contests such as these or any other where judging is required is that sometimes good stories don’t win, but bad stories never do.
What was especially gratifying was my blog was the only one in the category to come from a small paper. The other winners were from papers in the “large” category.