Checkbook journalism
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“Checkbook Journalism”. By Collin Hyte. What is Checkbook Journalism?.

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What is checkbook journalism
What is Checkbook Journalism?

  • the practice of securing exclusive rights to material for newspaper/network stories and interviews by paying a high price for it, regardless of any moral implications such as paying people to boast of criminal or morally reprehensible activities


  • Not illegal to exchange money for an interview, only if not in a criminal case (in some states)

  • Ex. California

  • make it a crime for anyone to receive money or a "benefit" from a reporter in exchange for information they obtained by witnessing a crime. They also make it illegal to take money for information if that leads prosecutors to call the person providing the information as a witness in a criminal case.

Credibility ethics

Do social media outlets have credibility when opening up their check books?

Will a paid source tell you the truth, or tell you what you want to hear?

Americans and their trust in networks


Examples of checkbook journalism
Examples of Checkbook Journalism their check books?

  • Nixon/Frost interview in 1977

  • Did the interview change history?

  • Did it hurt the people?

  • Network TV scandals ABC/NBC scandals

  • Meagan Broussard, one of the women who was sent lewd photos by Anthony Weiner, after the network paid her about $15,000 for photos.

  • Jaycee Lee Dugard, the young woman held captive for 18 years in California.

  • David Goldman- custody battle

    Licensing Fees?

Society of professional journalists
Society of Professional Journalists their check books?

  • It is the mission of the Society of Professional Journalists:

  • — To promote this flow of information.— To maintain constant vigilance in protection of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press.— To stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.— To foster excellence among journalists.— To inspire successive generations of talented individuals to become dedicated journalists.— To encourage diversity in journalism.— To be the pre-eminent, broad-based membership organization for journalists.— To encourage a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely.

Code of ethics spj
Code of Ethics/SPJ their check books?

  • According to the SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists),

    “Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity”

Work cited
Work cited their check books?