It can be hard to distinguish whether or not to publish something when you are owned by a company with a stake in the story. When such situations occur, often times disclaimers are attached to the story stating that a subject in the story is tied to the organization that is publishing.
The most recent editorial scandal that erupted was that of the Gawker editors. Over this summer in July, Gawker published a piece that outed a top Conde Nast executive. This in itself caused issues with the editorial staff, who later took a vote and removed the story from the website.
Gawker decided to release a statement on removing the story, which you can read here.
A selection of the statement reveals the conflicts of interest and ethical decisions that journalists so often face:
On the other side, does CNET's state that CBS has the right to pull any content and reporting capability from their site?
Is there an ethical decision to making these contracts with parent companies?
|Photo via TIME.com|
How can communicators and especially lawyers representing communicators avoid these conflicts of interest and legally binding contracts that decrease independence? Increase their stake in the value of independence, and they will fight for more right for their writing.