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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
Chances that an organ transplanted in New York City last year came from a murder victim:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
In Gainesville, Florida, a drunk man who jumped out of his pickup truck to yell at the driver in front of him was run over by his own vehicle.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”