The July-August issue of Columbia Journalism Review hands a dart to KNXV-TV of Phoenix because news anchor Katie Raml spoke at two WISH List events. Here’s an excerpt of how the Darts & Laurels column describes Raml’s offense:
Last fall, for example, she introduced the speaker at the “graduation ceremonies” at the Republicans’ WISH List Campaign College, described on its Web site as offering “high-caliber instruction” in “how to raise money” and “build effective media relationships.”
(The July-August edition of Darts & Laurels is not yet available online.)
Here’s another detail from the same website, listed under an Our Mission link: “The WISH List raises funds to identify, train and elect pro-choice Republican women at all levels of government — local, state and national.”
Is WISH List’s Republican identity any more partisan than its prochoice mission? What rules should journalists play by? What if a journalist’s employer, as an institution, supports prochoice causes? When I moved to Virginia late last year, I noticed that Richmond magazine was among the sponsors of a gala fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. That hasn’t stopped me from subscribing, but I won’t expect to see it publish sympathetic portraits of, say, prolifers who take unwed mothers into their homes.
Prolifers have long objected to employers’ pressures to support United Way because many of its chapters include Planned Parenthood in their circle of support. (United Way’s national office says its affiliates “have taken a position of neutrality on this divisive issue,” adding that no United Way funds “have ever been used to support abortion services.”
Update: Terry has reminded me that this essay at Poynteronline explored similar questions, and in greater depth.