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Wednesday, August 24, 2005
No More Conflict-of-Interest Disclosures?
Is backing away from the one journalistic thing it did consistently and well?

On the front of today's CNS front page is the headline "Media Watchdog Report Finds CNN Anchor Has 'Negative View' of Free Market, followed by the promo line: "A report by a watchdog group finds that CNN's Lou Dobbs has a 'negative view' of the free market."

But the following hyperlink, instead of normal text like "Full Story" or "Read News on the Web," reads, "Read the Report." Clicking on it takes you to the Free Market Project -- like CNS, run by the Media Research Center.

Heretofore, CNS has generally done a good job of disclosing conflicts of interest; when it has felt the need to report on the doings of the MRC, it has regularly noted that it too is an MRC division. Is CNS dispensing with that journalistic pretense?

(A side note: CNS describes the decidedly conservative Free Market Project as a "media watchdog" and a "watchdog group," while in two recent articles referencing Media Matters for America (full disclosure: my employer), it adds qualifiers, describing it as a "liberal media watchdog group." But CNS has always had that labeling bias.)

Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT

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