May 3, 2009

JOURNALISTIC ETHICS: It doesn’t mean giving subscribers what they want. Concerns about the marketing department driving news stories may be justified. On the other hand, the hauteur displayed here seems inappropriate to a failing industry. Actually, letting subscribers vote on stories might be a good way to encourage people to subscribe — and since recent evidence suggests that news coverage isn’t driven by a disinterested concern for the facts anyway, why not let the consumers have a voice in what they’re consuming?

A contrary argument, of course, might be that “shaping the news” is one of the perks of being a journalist — hence the hauteur — and that letting other people have a hand in doing that is tantamount to a pay cut of sorts. But, in a failing industry, you’ve got to expect some of the perks to disappear.

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