If We Still Need Evidence That Old Media Is Dying . . .

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 2, 2009

All we have to do is look to the Politico’s startling report about the ethics–or lack thereof–of the Washington Post:

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.

And it’s a turn of the times that a lobbyist is scolding The Washington Post for its ethical practices.

Mood: Utterly gobsmacked. To say that people should get fired over this kind of behavior would be to put matters mildly.

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