UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 13, 2009

POST OMBUDSMAN TAKES PAPER TO CLEANERS

Andrew Alexander, Washington Post - The Washington Post's ill-fated plan to sell sponsorships of off-the-record "salons" was an ethical lapse of monumental proportions. . .

Publisher Katharine Weymouth and Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli have now taken full responsibility for what was envisioned as a series of 11 intimate dinners to discuss public policy issues. . .

While Brauchli and Weymouth say they should have realized long ago that the plan was flawed, internal e-mails and interviews show questions about ethics were raised with both of them months ago. They also show that blame runs deeper. Beneath Brauchli and Weymouth, three of the most senior newsroom managers received an e-mail with details of the plan.

Lower down, others inside and outside the newsroom were aware that sponsored events would involve news personnel in off-the-record settings, although they lacked details. Several now say they didn't speak up because they assumed top managers would eventually ensure that traditional ethics boundaries would not be breached.

Neither Weymouth nor Brauchli can recall anyone raising concerns, although both say they wish someone had. . .

1 Comments:

Anonymous Boffin said...

What was wrong with the good old cocktail party? The problem here seems to be the desire of the bean counters to monitor, monetize, and control every human interaction.

July 13, 2009 2:37 PM  

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