WaPo Internal Email Responds to the Politico Story

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Thursday, July 02, 2009 at 11:02 am

I’ve obtained an e-mail from Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli that’s been sent to the paper’s reporters and editors in response to Politico’s story about access-for-cash offers to lobbyists:

A flyer was distributed this week offering an “underwriting opportunity” for a dinner on health-care reform, in which the news department had been asked to participate.

The language in the flyer and the description of the event preclude our participation.

We will not participate in events where promises are made that in exchange for money The Post will offer access to newsroom personnel or will refrain from confrontational questioning. Our independence from advertisers or sponsors is inviolable.

There is a long tradition of news organizations hosting conferences and events, and we believe The Post, including the newsroom, can do these things in ways that are consistent with our values.

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Comments

17 Comments

Washington Post Sells Its Soul?–UPDATED « Blog Entry « Dr. Melissa Clouthier
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 11:24 am

[...] AGAIN: Washington Post seems to be trying to justify their pimping. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Washington Post Sells Its Soul?–UPDATED", url: [...]


Hard times in the news biz do NOT justify this | Jay Bookman
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 11:41 am

[...] Apparently the executive editor of the Post has sent the following email to his staff (h/t to Washington Independent): “A flyer was distributed this week offering an “underwriting opportunity” for a dinner [...]


Don’t Look Good | Design Website
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

[...] Dave Weigel has an email Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli just sent out to the editorial staff saying reporters now [...]


The Post: Best little whorehouse in Washington, DC « Over the line, Smokey!
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

[...] the newsroom mutiny: …an e-mail from Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli that’s been sent to the paper’s reporters and editors in response to Politico’s story about access-for-cash offers to lobbyists: [...]


Don’t Look Good - MEME ORANDUM
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

[...] Dave Weigel has an email Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli just sent out to the editorial staff saying reporters now [...]


jtk
Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

in other words, they got caught and are backtracking.


ibc
Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

Boy, and I used to not subscribe because of the incredibly poor quality of the editorial product, and the declining quality of the news side of the operation.


stevenrstahl
Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

I believe the key paragraph of the Politico article is this:

>em>Kris Coratti, communications director of Washington Post Media, a division of The Washington Post Company, said: “The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers.

It's not unprecedented for companies' conferences and marketing divisions to come up with ideas that look like terrific moneymakers, but violate business or journalistic ethics. I believe Coratti's statement to the effect that the proposal wasn't cleared by higher-ups in the Post's newspaper offices. I'd expect people in the business decision to be fired for being so oblivious to ethical conflicts.

SRS


snabby
Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

I think the whole point is that in fact they ARE going to do these things in ways that are consistent with their values. Their values are the problem.


Update: Washington Post Kills ‘Salon’ for Lobbyists Program In The Crib
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

[...] was an e-mail posted by Washington Independent columnist David Weigel from Brauchli which said that the "language [...]


dorothy59
Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

Washington Post – The FOX new of dailies.


cirby
Comment posted July 3, 2009 @ 1:59 am

That's an amazingly polished an finished flyer to be a wild hare from some random person in the marketing department.

Moreover, since some of the money levels were fairly astronomical (a quarter of a million dollars for the top level!), there's no way that this wasn't discussed all over the place. I've never known a marketing droid who could shut up about a big moneymaking idea…

…and, again, follow the money. Or rather, the paycheck. If the guy who took the blame for this keeps his job, it was approved by upper management. People get fired for parking in the wrong space in big companies like this, what's the punishment for doing a number on the whole paper's reputation in front of the world?


Dirty Democrats » Washington Post Sells Its Soul?–UPDATED
Pingback posted July 3, 2009 @ 11:16 am

[...] UPDATED AGAIN: Washington Post seems to be trying to justify their pimping. [...]


michele45
Comment posted July 4, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

How in the pocket of the Obama administration can you be?? It's to no wonder newspapers are going down the crapper, does anybody do any investigative reporting anymore? I noticed the mainstream media never even covered this except for Fox. Why dont they try looking into why all Obama's “town halls” are set ups or why some Inspector Generals are fired with no explanation given? I hope this country is opening its eyes to the Obama-media, they get their information straight from the White House and this shows it!!


Photomaniacal » Blog Archive » Selling out the Washington Post | Dan Kennedy
Pingback posted July 8, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

[...] the Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, said he knew nothing about the specifics and that his troops would not participate. The [...]


Selling out the Washington Post | Dan Kennedy - Politic News, Videos
Pingback posted July 8, 2009 @ 8:23 pm

[...] the Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, said he knew nothing about the specifics and that his troops would not participate. The [...]


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Comment posted July 26, 2010 @ 6:33 am

Washington Post – The FOX new of dailies.


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