Dan Snyder is wondering why he can’t get this kind of coverage

There is more to this article about Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys in today’s edition of The Wash. Times than just a profile of the controversial wideout. The byline says “Mickey Spagnola” and is credited as “SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES.” While that is true, there is a little more to the story than paper is letting on. Spagnola is employed by the Cowboys, Owens’ current team, and there is no mention (online at least) of that fact. By not revealing that, The Wash. Times is misleading their readership into thinking that story was independently reported. At the very least, The Wash. Times should have disclosed that Spagnloa is a Cowboys employee. A better decision would have been to not run the article at all.

The Cowboys may say that Spagnola is completely independent editorially, and in practice he may be, but I cannot help but have doubts. One of the main points of the media ethics class I took at Penn State with Prof. Russell Frank was that the appearance of a conflict of interest is as bad as actual conflict of interest. Running an article produced by an organization about itself as news is, in my opinion, a major conflict of interest. To use another example, it would be like The Wash. Times running a news story about the President that was written by a White House employee.

Also, I have to wonder what Dan Snyder thinks of a D.C. paper running stories produced by the team his Redskins are playing this week, given his desire to control all Redskins information (Triple X radio, producing all those Redskins TV shows). Additionally, I cannot help but feel for Tom Cruise , who might have to listen to Snyder complain all day about what The Wash. Times just did.

This originally appeared on William World News

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