‘Checkbook Journalism’ From a PR Pro’s Perspective

In an age of declining journalism standards, where anything goes and credibility is in serious question, it’s about time we see a network take the high road and announce it’s going back to the true practice of journalism. According to The Daily Beast, ABC News division president Ben Sherwood has decided the network will do just that and no longer pay for interviews or images, a practice called “checkbook journalism” that has become all-too-common in recent years.

ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider told The Daily Beast: “We can book just about anyone based on the strength of our journalism, the excellence of our anchors, correspondents, and producers, and the size or our audience. These licensing deals had become a crutch, and an unnecessary one.”

ABC’s decision came after the network had egg on its face after paying Casey Anthony $200,000 for photos in 2008, and after paying several sources of recent high-profile cases for photos and video just to get them to appear in interviews.

While ABC is making the right move ethically, will other networks and news media follow their lead? One can only hope.

Read the entire article at PRSAY.