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Prof. Bob Steele '69 Anaylzes MSNBC/Olbermann Situation for AP

November 8, 2010

5749November 8, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. — In an era when networks that bill themselves as news outlets have hosts who disseminate as least as many opinions as facts, "the principle of journalistic independence is more important now than ever, said Bob Steele, director of the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University in Indiana," notes a nationally-distributed Associated Press story. The piece by David Bauder examines MSNBC's move to suspend anchor Keith Olbermann, who made a donation to three Democratic candidates without notifying the network, a violation of internal policy.

Bauder writes, "Prime-time opinion hosts are journalists as well as commentators, Steele said. They host news programs, make decisions on what stories to emphasize, what guests to bring on, and what questions are asked, he said."

Dr. Steele, Phyllis W. Nicholas Director of DePauw's Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics and the University's Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism Ethics, tells AP, 4759"There's a huge difference between having a belief and becoming an activist," he said, "and when you contribute to a campaign with your money or your energy, you're an activist."

Access the piece, which is appearing in newspapers and on websites across the nation, at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Steele, a 1969 graduate of DePauw, discussed the Olbermann situation with the New York Times over the weekend.  Read more here.

Source: Associated Press

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