Disclosing the ‘true ties’ of op-ed writers

Today, 50 current and former journalists, media professors and media professionals joined The Checks and Balances Project to ask the New York Times to end the pervasive practice of industry-funded pundits placing opinion pieces that favors their funders, without these financial ties being disclosed to readers.

Through http://www.trueties.org, petitioners can ask the New York Times to end the masquerade of bought and biased pundits by ensuring that op-ed submission finalists disclose their financial ties – and reveal those conflicts to readers.

Here’s how this masquerade works. Earlier this summer, the New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Robert Bryce – an increasingly prominent proponent of fossil fuels and an aggressive critic of clean energy technologies – under the byline of “senior fellow” at the Manhattan Institute. Here’s the problem – Mr. Bryce’s employer, the Manhattan Institute, has received nearly three million dollars in funding from fossil fuel interests like ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. Nowhere was Bryce’s ties to fossil fuels told to readers.

The Trueties.org campaign asks the New York Times to set the industry standard and ensure their readers get the full story. By implementing better disclosure standards, the New York Times can stop the “Bryce Masquerade” and ensure better transparency.

Bought and biased pundits have the right to be heard; but we should know their true ties.

Go to www.trueties.org to see the full list of journalists who’ve signed the petition, to sign the petition and to learn more.

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