Mike Bloomberg still doesn’t understand journalism
Kathy Kiely, the Lee Hills chair in free press studies at the Missouri School of Journalism and a former politics editor at Bloomberg News, writes for The Washington Post about how company founder Michael Bloomberg still doesn’t understand journalism.
Kiely writes, “And for all the undoubted good he has done as a creator of jobs and a philanthropist, Bloomberg’s personal and corporate history is replete with episodes that suggest his sympathies lie with an elite of owners, stars and celebrities and that he doesn’t think they have to follow the same rules as the rest of the worker bees.
“This is, for example, the chief executive who changed the rules so he could run for a third term as mayor of New York and whose news service, most depressingly for journalists, failed to stand up for the brave reporters and editors who investigated corruption in China, a major market for Bloomberg’s data business. Is it an accident that Bloomberg News ended up harboring two boldface #MeToo perps — Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin? Both of whom might have been caught a lot sooner had their managers shown less tolerance for behavior that would have been promptly disciplined had it come from anyone with less celebrity wattage.
“At a time when the ad revenue model that has sustained journalism is broken, reporters need wealthy, civic-minded patrons more than ever. But not if they view journalists as just another form of corporate minion and not unless the hand that feeds them is prepared to withstand a healthy nip from time to time.
“In his Iowa interview, Bloomberg talked about the possibility of selling his business. Here’s hoping he does — at least the part that’s engaged in newsgathering. Give the terrific journalists who work for you what they deserve, Mr. Bloomberg: Set them free.”
Read more here.