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Reporters should refuse gifts from advertisers

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05.JUNE.09

Editor: Re: the article in last week’s edition (May 29, 2009) titled “Journalists gets (sic) gifts from Digicel” –

As a former journalist, I was appalled by the idea that newspaper reporters would accept gifts from advertisers.{{more}} This is a blatant conflict of interest and compromises any consideration of balanced journalism in your reporters’ news gathering efforts. It is bad enough that you (and the other newspapers as well) publish news releases from businesses without any editing to remove the crass commercialism that appears over and over in your “news” stories, but to highlight the fact that the media is taking bribes is so unethical that it engenders disbelief. If you want the public to value your role as independent providers of news, then I suggest you tell the recipients of Digicel’s “generosity” to return the “gifts” promptly.

Marc Erdrich

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