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‘I’ve got a secret’: When media orgs pay for news

Sunday, August 7, 2011

imageA piece in today’s NYT Sunday Review looks at the practice of even some reputable media outlets paying for news—although they pretend they don’t—and suggests it’s a tough nut to crack. ABC News is the latest to get caught ($200,000 for Casey Anthony, pictured), but the practice goes back a long way, past Watergate and CBS News’ $100,000 dish to Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman, for instance.

Early example: The New York Times itself shelled out $1,000 in 1912 to the surviving wireless operator on the Titanic to get his story.

Noted: Journalism prof Lorna Veraldi at Florida International University says this of the outlets: “They pretend not to engage in it by paying for memoirs or for photographs, but that has made it a subject of more outrage.”

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