Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Kick 'em when their up, kick 'em when their down
If you saw the CBS report on this then you would be ready to lynch Amy Jacobson. A reporter going to a pool party given by someone she has been covering? She was there with her kids so I doubt any funny business was going on. Then Eric Zorn brought this up on the Chicago Trib blog.
As long as the social event wasn't so lavish that merely attending it could be misconstrued as a gift from the source or an attempt to curry favor, accepting this invitation looks like enterprising journalism to me. Socializing with sources is an excellent way to build rapport that can lead to revealing conversations. It's why we interview people over lunch or coffee or, even, sometimes, drinks.
So socializing with a source is not necessarily a bad thing. I can see that and I am not willing to assume the worst. I just think it is funny that CBS news is so fired up about this which begs the question: If a CBS news reporter had been caught socializing with a source would they immediately throw her under the bus. I imagine that reporters at CBS will be checking with their bosses before getting a beer with a potential source and for NBC news cameras.