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Jul 31, 2008

Turning journalists into spooks?

Are journalists being paid to provide high-level political intelligence to companies and consultancies seeking to benefit from such information? Very possible, writes Melissa Sweet.

Are journalists being paid to provide high-level political intelligence to companies and consultancies seeking to benefit from such information?
Judging by a series of emails that I’ve recently seen, it seems the answer might be "yes".

Several weeks ago, I received anemail which read as follows:

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “Turning journalists into spooks?

  1. Tom McLoughlin

    Sweet! God I love the 5th estate blogosphere at times like this. And as Gandhi would say, being open about your cause tends to diminish violence and vice versa, in this case violence to the public interest. That damn Australian Govt and their nuisance PBS embarrassing Big Pharma.

  2. Lisa Crago

    proffesional muck rakers getting journos to ‘sell out’. A good jouno does not reveal any information that does not work to the advantage of a good news story. Investigative journos can be ‘used’ , or, put on the payroll. Thanks for reporting on this sensitive subject.

  3. Jennifer Doggett

    I was contacted recently by someone from an organisation called the Strategic Forecasting Group in the US wanting to speak to me about the Rudd Health Reforms. He didn’t say why he wanted the information or who he was acting for. I was overseas at the time and didn’t speak to him or find out any more about what was behind the request but it certainly sounds similar to Melissa’s request from Hakluyt. I have no problem discussing my personal views on health issues with people but I would be reluctant to talk to anyone if they were being paid to elicit my opinions and I did not know who was paying them. And I certainly would never obtain information from my contacts within the health sector in order to pass it on to a third party without their knowledge.

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