What Policies for Writers Investing in the Fields they Cover?

Yesterday, TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington published a piece that updated his investment policy.

Today, All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher shares some questions she has for Arrington’s boss Arianna Huffington (AOL owns TechCrunch):

  1. What are, if any, the ethical guidelines about making investments for the editorial staff at HuffPo media group properties?
  2. Since Arrington now seems to have permission to do so from you, can other editors at AOL properties do the same–that is make very adjacent investments to what their site covers, as long as they disclose it? For example, can an editor who runs the entertainment site make investments in entertainment companies she/he has coverage responsibility over? (By the way, did you give him permission to make these investments? Did he ask?)
  3. Is there anyone who polices what is fair coverage of competitors–i.e. companies competing with companies your editors invest in?
  4. If an editor makes investments in a company and someone who works for them writes about that company, does that editor have to recuse himself from the story? Is that even possible?
  5. Since you just fired someone for what you called an ethical breach–asking freelancers to work for free and also seemingly defending an attempt to curry favor with an advertiser/client–why is this not an ethical breach?

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  1. futurejournalismproject posted this

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