Journalistic Ethics And Slippery Slopes

Last fall, Bill Glahn pondered the “journalistic ethics” of Minnesota Public Radio News taking underwriting money from one of the government bodies it’s supposed to be scrutinizing – in this case, MNSure’s sponsorship of Keri Miller’s “Daily Current” show:

The host’s interruptions of the token conservative are not just to challenge facts or opinion.  On two occasions, MPR’s Miller interrupts Republican Golnik to defend Democrat Governor Dayton—on the Vikings Stadium [30:22] and on MPR News’ sponsor MNsure.

Nobody’s mistaken Keri Miller for a non-biased journalist in 25 years; she’s about as balanced as Bill O’Reilly. 

But Glahn notes that, yes, MNSure – an agency of the government of the state of Minnesota – sponsors MPR News. 

So now, we get the news that the directors of MNSure and Minnesota’s Medicaid director took a vacation to Costa Rica together (as the MNSure site was debuting to terrible reviews). 

Now, is there a conflict of interest, here?  Knowing that if MNSure actually does crater, its victims clients will likely get thrown into Medicaid?   I don’t know – yet.  But I’ll find out. 

If there were a problem (and MPR’s coverage so far seems to tell us ”nothing to see here, move along, people“), would MPR be the one to tell us? 

Along with their acceptance of funding from the Joyce Foundation – the major funder of anti-gun-rights organizations in the US – specifically to provide gun-related content (and biased, slanted anti-gun content at that), I have to ask; when do people who care about actual journalism start asking questions about these financial entanglements?