Monday, June 18, 2007

Has CNN also become a master of the journalism practice known here as "SS"*?

Should we add this to the growing list of ethical lapses of the mighty CNN? If a foreign correspondent of this influential global news organization indeed paid to stage a story, how are we assured that all the stories coming from CNN are true? And more importantly, what news organization is left out there that the public can really trust?

Am I hearing Filipino journalists saying "SS"?

CNN Reporter Admits Paying to Stage Story, Capping Nearly a Decade of Network Deception
Source: NewsBusters

So, what is CNN?

THIS is CNN in 1998; the link is to a story debunking the network's Peter Arnett and April Oliver, who accused Vietnam soldiers of war crimes in Operation Tailwind.

This is from 2003. The network's Eason Jordan confessed that the network twisted the news out of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, thereby giving false impressions of the regime to the world so that it could maintain its access to the country (the article is posted at the author's web host for fair use and discussion purposes).

Then there's this from 2005. Eason Jordan accused the US military in Iraq of targeting journalists, and ultimately resigned in the wake of the outcry. "Somehow" the actual video footage of Jordan's accusations, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, never surfaced.

Next, there's this incredible episode from 2006, where the network showed videos of enemy snipers killing American soldiers in Iraq. Even more incredibly, the videos were marketed on corporate affiliate Time Warner Cable as an On Demand offering.

Now there's this -- paying to have a story staged (bolds are mine):

June 8, 2007 -- The steamy e-mails that landed a CNN reporter in the news and out of a job detailed more than his adulterous affair - they revealed that the Africa correspondent apparently admitted paying militiamen to help him stage a story, according to several sources.

For months, Jeff Koinange had been dogged by allegations that in February, he paid off gunmen to put on a show for a story about Nigerian resistance.

The accusations from Nigerian government officials were so strong that CNN gave a denial during a February broadcast.

"CNN did not pay for or stage any part of the report," anchor John Roberts said. "CNN does not pay for interviews."

But a Swiss author - in an e-mail to Koinange's boss, CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton - details a months-long romance with Koinange, and quotes the correspondent as saying he traded cash for the story.

"Of course I had to pay certain people to get the story," Koinange says, according to the e-mail.

"But everything was done in agreement with CNN and in accordance with their usual standards. But you do not get such a story without bribing . . . You have to have financial resources. But at the end, it was worth it. CNN has its story and I have my 'fame.'"

Read here for more. Click here for the original article from the New York Post (CNN'S BAD NEW$: Romeo 'paid for stories'). The New York Post also has Koinage's photo in the article.

*SS - a practice known in Philippine journalism where journalists exaggerate, "dress up" or concoct a long story out of a few facts or who angle it for the sake of boosting circulation or pleasing someone to whom s/he is indebted. (Source: The CMFR Ethics Manual: A Values Approach to News Media Ethics by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, 2007)

No comments:

Blog directory