Editorial Integrity

At this moment, the "docu-drama" surrounding CBS's handling of forged documents pertaining to President Bush's military service continues to be the talk of the consumer media. Not too long ago, the venerable New York Times had an integrity crisis of its own when one of its reporter fictionalized news stories that were published in the Times as factual news stories. The heart of the publishing business, whether consumer or trade, is editorial integrity. Readers assume that it exists, which is why they're willing to pay for a newspaper and view advertisements that support a television station. But when editorial credibility is in question, there is a different price to pay ... and it is viewers or readers who demonstrate their ire by switching to the competition. This year, the Wall Street Journal wrote about a related topic: the separation of "church" and "state" in the media world. W

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