The story below appeared in a recent issue of Editor & Publisher Magazine, as well as in the Columbia Journalism Review. It is especially relevant given the charges from the Trump campaign of extreme bias toward Hillary Clinton by journalists. Most news organizations have rules that forbid reporters from donating to political candidates of any party. That was certainly the case when I worked 25 years for the Chicago Tribune as a reporter and foreign correspondent. Big things seem to be changing in the 2016 Presidential election. Read on.
By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel, Center for Public Integrity
New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.”
What Nussbaum didn’t disclose in her dispatches: she contributed $250 to Democrat Hillary Clinton in April.
On the nation’s left coast, Les Waldron, an Emmy Award-winning assignment editor at television station KFMB, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, swung right in July, shooting $28 to Trump.
And Carole Simpson, a former ABC “World News Tonight” anchor who in 1992 became the first African-American woman to moderate a presidential debate, is not moderate about her personal politics: the current Emerson College distinguished journalist-in-residence and regular TV news guest has given Clinton $2,800.
Conventional journalistic wisdom holds that reporters and editors are referees on politics’ playing field — bastions of neutrality who mustn’t root for Team Red or Team Blue, either in word or deed.
But during this decidedly unconventional election season, during which “the media” has itself become a prominent storyline, several hundred news professionals have aligned themselves with Clinton or Trump by personally donating money to one or the other.
In all, people identified in federal campaign finance filings
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