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Should journalists contribute to political campaigns?




Reporters work on their laptops as Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks during a campaign event at Vernier Software & Technology.
Reporters work on their laptops as Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks during a campaign event at Vernier Software & Technology.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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The Center for Public Integrity released an analysis last week showing that more than 96 percent of contributions made by journalists in campaign filings went to Hillary Clinton.

The analysis made by the investigative journalism organization looked at people identified as news editors, journalists or television news anchors in federal campaign filings through August. Out of $396,000 total campaign contributions to both Clinton and Trump, $382,000 went to Clinton.

According to the report, many of these donors are not political reporters, and news organizations including The New York Times and Associated Press, whose codes of conduct prohibit journalists from donating to political campaigns.

In an NPR interview, former executive editor of the Washington Post, Len Downie, said that he didn’t vote at all to avoid bias as a journalist.

With Trump making accusations against the “crooked media,” what do these donations say about bias in journalism? Should journalists be able to donate to campaign as private citizens, or should they refrain from giving money to candidates?

Guest:

Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota