[LINK] Report: Fla. Journalists On Government Payroll
kim at holburn.net
Sun Sep 10 13:19:14 EST 2006
Yet another disturbing story from the US.
Report: Fla. Journalists On Government Payroll
> Report: Fla. Journalists On Government Payroll
> POSTED: 5:13 pm EDT September 8, 2006
> MIAMI -- Ten journalists, including two staffers with The Miami
> Herald's Spanish-language sister paper, received a total of more
> than $300,000 from the U.S. government for working on a radio and
> TV station aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government, the
> Herald reported Friday.
> Pablo Alfonso, who reported on Cuba and wrote an opinion column for
> El Nuevo Herald, was paid almost $175,000 since 2001 by the U.S.
> Office of Cuba Broadcasting to host shows on Radio and TV Marti,
> according to government documents obtained by The Miami Herald.
> Olga Connor, a freelance reporter who wrote about Cuban culture for
> El Nuevo Herald, received about $71,000, and staff reporter
> Wilfredo Cancio Isla, who covered the Cuban exile community and
> politics, was paid almost $15,000 in the last five years, The Miami
> Herald reported.
> Alberto Mascaro, chief of staff of the U.S. Cuban broadcasting
> office, confirmed to The Associated Press that all 10 journalists
> had received payments but said he did not have the details and
> declined to comment further.
> Alfonso and Cancio were fired and Connor's freelance relationship
> with the paper was ended.
> Alfonso and Cancio declined to comment to the Herald. The three did
> not respond to e-mails seeking comment sent by the AP.
> Jesus Diaz Jr., president of the Miami Herald Media Co. and
> publisher of both newspapers, said the individuals violated a
> "sacred trust" between journalists and the public.
> "I personally don't believe that integrity and objectivity can be
> assured if any of our reporters receive monetary compensation from
> any entity that he or she may cover or have covered, but
> particularly if it's a government agency," he told the Herald.
> Al Tompkins, a professor at the Poynter Institute for journalism,
> agreed that journalists are obligated to inform their employers
> before they accept outside work and must avoid even the appearance
> of a conflict of interest.
> But he added that newspapers are responsible for ensuring that
> everyone in the newsroom understands their ethical standards.
> Tompkins said the Marti payments point to an institutional problem,
> especially when taking into account a recent photo montage in El
> Nuevo Herald. The paper later acknowledged the montage made it
> falsely appear as if two Cuban police officers were ignoring
> The AP's e-mail and phone messages for Diaz were referred to Robert
> Beatty, Miami Herald Media's general counsel and vice president of
> public affairs.
> Beatty said the papers' employees have consistently demonstrated a
> high level of integrity, and that it is their responsibility to
> disclose any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
> "We have faith that our employees understand that practice and the
> principles that underlie that practice," he said. "And when they
> don't, we take action."
> He told the AP that the payments were identified in documents
> requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
> Other journalists who received payments included Diario Las
> Americas opinion page editor Helen Aguirre Ferre and reporter and
> columnist Ariel Remos. Ferre told The Miami Herald she didn't see a
> conflict of interest, and Remos said he enjoyed the freedom to
> speak his opinion on the stations.
> Aguirre is the daughter of the paper's editor Horacio Aguirre, who
> did not immediately return a message left Friday by the AP.
> Also listed as receiving more than $11,400 this year was WJAN-TV
> reporter Manuel Cao, who got into a videotaped confrontation with
> Cuban President Fidel Castro in July during the Mercosur Summit in
> During the fiery exchange, Cao questioned why Castro won't allow a
> prominent doctor and dissident to leave Cuba.
> "Who pays you?" demanded Castro.
> "No one pays me to ask questions, that is my job," Cao yelled back.
> Cao's news director also received payment but did not immediately
> return a message.
> The Miami journalists are not alone in receiving payments for their
> time, said Larry Hart, spokesman for the Broadcasting Board of
> Governors, the independent U.S. agency that overseas Radio and TV
> Marti, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, among other groups.
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +61 2 61258620 M: +61 417820641 F: +61 2 6230 6121
mailto:kim at holburn.net aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request
Cacert Root Cert: http://www.cacert.org/cacert.crt
Aust. Spam Act: To stop receiving mail from me: reply and let me know.
Use ISO 8601 dates [YYYY-MM-DD] http://www.saqqara.demon.co.uk/
Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
-- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961
More information about the Link