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As I reported this morning, the Post’s ombudsman Deborah Howell told me in a phone conversation that she was not sure whether the Post had official, written guidelines regarding journalist speaking engagements. However, it appears there are relevant written guidelines posted online, made available by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Assuming that’s still a current document, it is difficult to see how Broder and Woodward’s extracurricular engagements square with the Post‘s own rules. Some representative quotes:
This newspaper is pledged to avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest, wherever and whenever possible. We have adopted stringent policies on these issues, conscious that they may be more restrictive than is customary in the world of private business…
To avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest in the coverage of business and the financial markets, all members of the Business and Financial staff are required to disclose their financial holdings and investments to the assistant managing editor in charge of the section. The potential for conflict, however, is not limited to members of the Business and Financial staff. All reporters and editors, wherever they may work, are required to disclose to their department head any financial interests that might be in conflict or give the appearance of a conflict in their reporting or editing duties…
We freelance for no one and accept no speaking engagements without permission from department heads…It is important that no freelance assignments and no honoraria be accepted that might in any way be interpreted as disguised gratuities.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”