Sunday, March 25, 2012

Journalistic Integrity Not an Oxymoron at Green Bay Press-Gazette

Kevin Corrado, the president of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, wrote a cover editorial yesterday which stated that 25 Gannett Wisconsin Media journalists, including seven at the Press-Gazette, signed a petition to recall embattled Governor Scott Walker. 

Unlike a private vote, these public signatures breached a number of company ethical standards, and the employees are now being held to account.  And by admitting the situation and laying out the path forward, Mr. Corrado shows that he's taking journalistic integrity seriously at his paper. 

In the mean time, the unions have hit the comments section of the electronic version of his editorial with a vengeance.  But none of the brain surgeons there will post up where the line should be drawn.  Under their "right to petition" and "free speech" argument, could a journalist post a political sign in their yard?  Have a political bumper sticker on their car?  Wear a political button or T-shirt?  Donate to a political party?  Where is the line?

Journalists have a huge credibility gap with the public, and this is one of the primary reasons for plummeting circulations and ratings.  The public has lost the trust, and has flocked to new sources of information - some of it more, and some of it less biased.  If traditional media has any hope whatsoever of surviving, it must win back the faith and trust of the public. 

With the recent admission, Mr. Corrado is taking just such a step.

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