Two more developments on the ethics front involving Channel 5:
Channel Island, the Los Angeles Times TV blog, reports that Morning News anchor Michaela Pereira "received a customized dining-room makeover worth more than $10,000 for her own home" in return for a story that would promote a local furniture merchant. The story never ran, and now IdentityCraft wants to be paid for the work and for some accessories and custom-made furniture and draperies. KTLA producer Rich Goldner told Channel Island that Pereira always intended to return some of the items and "will pay for the remaining items out of her own pocket."
Also, RonFineman.com reports that acceptance of free rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington by KTLA anchors violated two sections of the Tribune Code of Editorial Principles:
No editorial employee should accept anything of material value like junkets, meals or briefcases from news sources or news subjects. Occasionally, that rule may be broken (if the only way a reporter can reach a battlefield is to ride on a military plane, for instance), but it must be discussed and approved first."
Editorial departments should make full and timely disclosure, in published or broadcast reports, of potential conflicts of interest, although it in unnecessary to repeat endlessly a generally understood relationship, such as Tribune's ownership of the Cubs. Still, it is best to err on the side of disclosure.
Fineman says the only disclosure aired on Channel 5 was Sam Rubin's denial Thursday of any conflict of interest. Rubin also defended taking paid junkets, says Fineman.