OLD Media Moves

Reporter admits conflict of interest

February 25, 2010

Tom Jackson, a business reporter at the Sandusky Register in Ohio, writes about the conflict of interest he now has in covering a major news story.

Jackson writes, “As the business reporter for the Register, I’ve been tasked with covering Cedar Fair and its attempted acquisition by Apollo Global Management.

“But I have a possible conflict of interest to disclose: I now have an equity stake in the company.

“When Cedar Fair filed its definite proxy statement on Feb. 10 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it announced a March 16 special meeting to vote on the proposed merger and said only unitholders of record as of Feb. 12 will be admitted.

“My boss ordered me to buy one unit, so there would be no question I could get in to cover the meeting.

“My unit allows me one possible vote on the merger, although I have less of a voice than, say, Geoffrey Raynor of Fort Worth, Texas, who as of Feb. 12 controlled 10,021,418 units, about 18 percent of the total.”

Read more here. The paper is asking readers how Jackson should vote.

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