Gawker Wants Staff to Reveal Political Donations

A good idea.

In what seems like a smart move to us, Gawker Media wants staffers to reveal any political donations that they make.

In a memo to staffers, Gawker Media executive editor John Cook explained the rationale:

I do not care who you vote for, nor do I care what you do with your money. It should be obvious to anyone who works here or reads our sites that we reject the norms of false objectivity in political reporting, and that our writers are free to advocate positions in which they are invested both on our sites and in their personal time.

However, for both substantive and strategic reasons, it is wise when writing about politics—or anything, really—to lay out for our readers any publicly available information that may inform their assessment of your views and motives. If you are writing about a political candidate, and you have donated money to that political candidate (or to that political candidate’s opponent), you should disclose that in the post. It does no harm, and it robs our critics of the thrill of looking up your name in a database of FEC records and waving the donations in your face.

You can read Cook’s full note at Politico.