The cash for comment scandal is to first year journalism students what Donoghue vs Stevensen is to first year law students. While Donohue vs Stevensen is studied to demonstrate how the modern concept of negligence came about (and why you shouldn’t drink ginger beer from an opaque bottle), the cash for comment scandal is used to demonstrate journalistic integrity gone wrong. Or a journalism ‘how-to’ guide in reverse. I challenge you to find a journalism or law student who can’t outline the above examples respectively.
Anyway, I was taken back to the cash for comment scandal the other day when my friend Camo agreed to donate $20 to my Dry July efforts in exchange for a plug on mybloggableday. Plug what exactly? Nothing in particular, just him. 2UE talk-back radio hosts Alan Jones (pictured above) and John Laws got into strife in 1999 when ABC’s Media Watch (how I love thee) found the pair were paid to talk favourably about various companies including major Australian banks without disclosing this convenient little arrangement to their listeners. Bad move. They defended themselves by claiming they weren’t ‘journalists’, but ‘entertainers’ and had no obligation to uphold journalistic ethics or integrity. Smooth.
So while I am not a journalist (yet), nor an entertainer, and seeing as the money is going to charity, here’s a shameless plug for my friend Camo:
James ‘Camo’ Cameron (not the James Cameron who directed Titanic and Avatar, aka the lesser known James Cameron) is a great bloke.
Anyone else who wants to sponsor me for Dry July in exchange for favourable comments, please get in touch. $10 will get you mentioned. $20 will get a mention and an adjective. $50+ buys substantial gushing and $100+ equals a dedicated post plus picture. Inquire within.