- Most journalists don't make political contributions. But among those who do, they almost always give to Democrats.
- Following Insider's questions, at least two news organizations have either suspended or reassigned reporters and editors found to have given political candidates cash.
- Some news organizations are wrestling with whether to rethink their political activism policies at a time when President Donald Trump attacks the press as "fake news" and an "enemy of the people."
- Insider has published a three-part series that explores the ethics around journalists giving to political campaigns. Here are links to part one, part two and part three.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Los Angeles Times strictly prohibits its journalists from making political contributions.
It's a serious matter, the newspaper's leadership contends — one of credibility and impartiality.
But Insider found five examples of Los Angeles Times reporters and editors giving money to 2020 Democratic candidates, including presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
"We have pulled people off political coverage whom we know made contributions," executive editor Norman Pearlstine told Insider.
One of the journalist-donors was steamed: "I find it ironic that an industry that depends on freedom of speech to exist denies its employees that same freedom when it comes to political expression."
The situation in Los Angeles is emblematic of a debate among journalists over what level of political activism is appropriate at a time when President Donald Trump incessantly tars the working press as "fake news" and an "enemy of the people."
Insider published a three-part series that explored the ethics around journalists giving to political campaigns.
- While most journalists don't make political contributions, Insider identified dozens of news professionals who've together given political candidates and committees at least $110,000 this election cycle. The list includes people who work at The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, and other major media outlets. A few have reported on the very politicians they financially supported or opposed.
- High-profile sports journalists at ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the NFL Network, and the Dallas Morning News have also contributed to political candidates during the 2020 campaign.
- Some of the people who have given money have done so in violation of their news organizations' rules, jeopardizing their jobs. But a few prominent journalists have good excuses: Insider discovered that federal records indicating they made political donations were incorrect.
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