When it comes to the uncharted waters of today’s media world, I found this article of particular interest. Edward Wasserman has penned his thoughts about Dan Abrams, a former anchor and top executive at MSNBC, launching a new PR firm that will hire practicing journalists to advise corporate clients on how to best handle the ins-and-outs of the media. As Wasserman says, this raises new question of where the ethics line is drawn. Wasserman says:
The PR industry is laced with former, not active, journalists. Your skills are supposed to be applied in the public’s interest, explaining, exposing and holding institutions accountable — not helping newsmakers charm, impress, seduce or outwit reporters just like you.
How likely is it that a client would hire as a consultant a reporter who’d been unremittingly tough and critical? How hardnosed is the reporter who’s got one eye on some downstream consulting likely to be? At what point does the day job become a brand-builder, a way to audition for the advisory work that offers, in a time of shrinking news budgets, a future?
In my opinion, this venture opens an incredibly interesting dialogue that I’m certain is just beginning. What do you think?