College journalists from 10 schools attend GM event
PRWeek reports that 10 schools, including Duke, Penn, Purdue, Washington, and Missouri, had “signed off” on a program in which General Motors provided an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas for college journalists.
Hamilton Nolan reported, “The program’s focus will be on the culture of car customization, presumably a topic more geared to the youth market. The weekend will feature a speech from an outside consultant. Several professional automotive journalists were also slated to attend to answer students’ questions, Canabal said.
“The program has generated some dissent in the blogosphere, after a University of North Carolina professor posted GM’s invitation and questioned whether such a trip raised ethical questions, including whether it amounted to an attempt of a large corporation to buy off the loyalties of young reporters.
“Canabal said that the program, which includes a free trip to Las Vegas and complimentary room and board, followed the same setup that GM routinely offers to automotive news outlets. The Las Vegas location was chosen not for its glamour, she said, but because of its proximity to a nearby GM facility.
“‘I would hope [the students’] opinion wouldn’t be swayed by a free trip,’ she said.”
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