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February 29, 2008

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Interviewing your co-worker Ben? That's a real reach. I bet you wouldn't let your students interview their classmates.

Interviewing your co-worker Ben? That's a real reach. I bet you wouldn't let your students interview their classmates.

Well, I certainly might let them do so, if their classmates were recognized authorities in their field.

John your comment is interesting..please elaborate?? I do have a problem with the posture that assumes only 'recognized experts or authorities are worthy of being interviewed.. That seems like such a closed minded perspective..

Since you asked, Thrasher I will explain. In journalism it is considered very poor form, almost taboo, to interview people that you are closely associated with. Most newspapers prohibit reporters from quoting anything from at least their friends and family. Other than very special circumstances, it's at least lazy reporting and at most can cause conflicts of interest. In this case I would put it more on the former then the former.

If a reporter does does directly quote someone they are close to they should at least fully disclose their relationship with them.

I would never accuse Jack of having friends. I do know that both him and Burns are professors at Wayne State, and it's safe to say that they've had offices near each others for several years. It seems a little sloppy to me, especially when the topic of discussion is journalism ethics.

It's true that Burns is an authority in the field and worth someone interviewing. But their are lots of qualified journalism experts and professors that I'm sure would have been happy to comment. Maybe even some that don't have offices down the hall.


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