Fair and Balanced…I Think Not…

July 23, 2008

Many public relations practitioners, myself included, subscribe to various leads generation services that allow journalists from across the globe to send out queries on stories they are working on. Every now and then – okay a lot – I come across queries that pretty much kill that whole idea of “fair and balanced” reporting I learned back at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

For example, this week a reporter posted the following query, pretty much indicating that she was going one way in her story, no matter how the majority would respond to the topic:

I’m looking for a woman exec to specifically say it’s OK for the boss to dress sexy at the holiday party — and to drink and have fun. Any others need not respond, as I don’t need the other side of the story.”

Obviously, this is for a feature piece and so I take it with a grain of salt. But still, soliciting one specific kind of source that will say exactly what the journalists wants to write the story he/she wants, isn’t exactly ethical.

Thoughts?  Comment below.


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