Jul 2, 2009

Post responds to Politico story*

Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli sent out a memo in response to a Politico story that uncovered a flier offering lobbyists the chance to rub elbows with White House officials as well as Post reporters and editors in exchange for money. Brauchli said the newsroom would never take part in such a conference:
We will not participate in events where promises are made that in exchange for money The Post will offer access to newsroom personnel or will refrain from confrontational questioning. Our independence from advertisers or sponsors is inviolable.
A Washington Post spokesman also issued the following statement:
The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers.

As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this.

We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business, and that The Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. The newsroom will participate where appropriate.
Here's my original post on this story.

*Update: The Washington Post has canceled the lobbyist conferences in response to newsroom uproar, Politico reports.

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