Journalism 101

I read Rob Karwath’s apologia today. According to Rob there is no great conflict of interest between reporters and a Paper’s business office.

Rob was making a spirited defense for being a good businessman as well as an editor. Rob described the good old days before so many major newspapers got bought and over leveraged by quick buck investors. Back in the day according to Rob:

“For years, it was. When I started as a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, journalists would become visibly angry when the publisher appeared on the fourth floor, which housed the newsroom. ‘What’s he doing on our floor?’ they would huff.”

I always took as an article of faith that the separation between the reporters and the advertisers was a chasm. I’d like to think the Publisher would remain distant from the stories covered by the Trib. I presume that his is still the ethic taught by the nation’s journalism schools. Clear Channel, Rupert Murdoch and even Forum Communications are all encroaching on this separation. The latter wrote the Trib’s editorial endorsement for John McCain.