Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune writes that Chicago Sun-Times business editor Dan Miller has sent a letter to two reporters at the Tribune urging them to keep an open mind about global warming.
Rosenthal wrote, “Efforts to reach Miller by phone and e-mail for comment Thursday and Friday were unsuccessful. Sun-Times Editor in Chief Michael Cooke indicated Thursday that he did not know about the Heartland packages and wanted to talk to Miller, a 2006 Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame inductee. The Nov. 12 letter ‘From the desk of Dan Miller, Business Editor, Chicago Sun-Times,’ does not explicitly urge a stance. But, according to Bob Steele, an ethics scholar at the Poynter Institute for media studies, it’s still problematic.
“‘Independence is still a linchpin principle for the credibility of journalists and journalism,’ Steele said. ‘When we become activists, we at least raise the perception that we are not independent. And if we are activists in the way it appears [Miller] is, then it’s more than just a perception.
“‘He is actively urging a particular examination, and I would suggest a point of view, on a substantive public policy issue. He’s also pitching it in a problematic way to other journalists, using his journalistic connections in doing so.'”
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