It’s a shame that it’s the day before Christmas, because this controversy deserves a little more attention than what it will get in the pre-holiday rush.
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog.com has published an email sent by Bloomberg reporter Dan Golden to a source back in September. Golden, working on a story about the for-profit education sector, emails a source asking for a more direct quote regarding challenges his company has faced. The way he frames the potential quote is bound to make any trained journalist a little queasy:
“I’d love it if you could come up something on the record that might reflect some of this — perhaps along the lines of — Phoenix’s original model was magic because XXX — but the current model has some of the same flaws that have dogged other for-profit schools — X and Y.”
Aravosis also reports that Bloomberg is working to launch its own for-profit education outfit of its own, while reporting on its competition and, supposedly, criticizing their businesses.
The ethical questions raised by this whole fiasco are many. Certainly framing a question for a source is taking it too far, but reporters are not always free from bias when reporting a story and looking for a potential angle. Where is the line? And how much do the goals of a news organization — or its parent company — interfere with newsgathering? Should it at all? And if it shouldn’t, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. If you haven’t had too much eggnog to drink already, what are your thoughts on the matter?
h/t to Talking Biz News