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Chronicle’s Ward Bushee defends Willie Brown--again

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

imageMatt Smith at The Bay Citizen takes a turn pointing out the inherent journalistic conflict of interest with the Chronicle’s use of politico/lobbyist and Ed Lee swingman Willie Brown as its star columnist. As in the past, the man wearing the blinders is Chronicle editor Ward Bushee, who offers a defense of the paper’s use of Brown on the basis that he isn’t a journalist bound by the newspaper’s ethics policy and asserts that readers must certainly know that. An excerpt from Bushee’s emailed response to Smith:

“Willie is not a journalist or a member of the Chronicle’s news staff. He is a newsmaker who is politically active, of which our readers are quite aware. While he’s not bound by the ethics policy, Willie has shown his respect for his readers and the rules of conflict of interest. Readers love (or hate) his column, but we know they look forward to reading it.”

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