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Media: The Importance Of Disclosing Campaign Giving

7174 Last week's disclosure that MSNB's Keith Olbermann -- and Fox's Joe Scarborough -- had previously undisclosed campaign donations has become Washington's lastest tempest in a teapot, following closely on the NPR Juan Williams / Nina Totenberg debacle -- but it's as good a time as any to ponder the question of how me we know or don't know about the folks we trust to give us the education news and commentary -- print reporters, broadcast folks and regular pundits.  Traditionally most fulltime journalists are required not to participate in campaigns (NPR recently told its staff not to go to the Stewart/Colbert rally) but that may not be true for broadcast folks, nonprofit journalists, and pundits.  I'm asking around for whether the rules have changed, and what they should be for the new breed of bloggers/ nonprofit journos / pundits / advocates like Hechinger, GothamSchools, Rotherham, etc.  My sense is that transparency is better than an outright ban on campaign giving.  If you know the guy talking to you gave money to Pelosi or Boehner or whomever then you can make your own call on whether there's credibility there or not.  [NB:  I didn't give money to anyone.]


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