Comment 17007

By statius (registered) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 23:44:56


You write: "Builders/Developers are their largest advertisers. Sadly, they allow that to take precedent over reporting factual news." This is rubbish - typical of the sort of broad assumptions and baseless accusations people make on this site all the time. Consumer retail is, in most years, actually the largest industry sector advertiser at the Spectator, with EHR being their single most valuable customer. Builders/developers do of course spend considerable amounts at the paper, but this revenue is more sporadic and the paper certainly does not rely upon it.

While it is a common allegation by members of the reading public that newspapers bend their editorial stance to suit the needs of their advertisers, journalism in first world countries is still very much governed by a relatively strict code of ethics which proscribes the intermingling of business interest and editorial stance (it is also generally governed by regulatory statute, but I won't go into that). The Spectator, which admittedly has declined in quality under the depridations of Metroland (Torstar) business leadership, still very much considers itself to be governed by this code. If you know anyone who works at the paper, you too would know this (I should mention that my grandfather spent the majority of his career at the paper, so if you want to accuse me of bias, go ahead). The fact of the matter is that while journalistic/editorial ethics are certainly open to abuse, and certainly are abused from time to time, this is a rather rare occurrence, and manifests itself in ways much more subtle than you think. Professional journalists and editors really are more conscientious than you imagine. It is in their best interests to be so, for (to paraphrase Tony Burman) credibility and reputation are the only real capital that any news organization has. This capital is exceedingly hard-earned, and no major newspaper (yes, the Spec still is a major regional paper, at least by numbers) would squander it by blatantly towing the line of an advertiser, particularly one of only moderate importance.

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