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SPJ: Las Vegas Review-Journal ownership should reveal identity



Dec. 15, 2015

Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee Chair, 570-483-8555, andrew.m.seaman@andrewseaman.com
Maggie LaMar, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, mlamar@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS-- The Society of Professional Journalists is committed to stimulating high standards of ethical behavior among all who engage in the delivery of news. As announced earlier this month, the financial backers of News + Media Capital Group LLC joined those ranks by purchasing the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

While we as one of the largest and oldest journalism organizations are happy to see a company invest in one of our country’s great newspapers, we are very disappointed and concerned by the owners’ lack of transparency and respect for the journalists they employ and the people the Las Vegas Review-Journal serves.

“The Society’s Code of Ethics stresses that those engaged in journalism need to be accountable and transparent,” said Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair. “We now expect that of those behind News + Media Capital Group LLC.”

Accountability begins with knowing a messenger, which allows an audience to understand that messenger's motives and better understand the messages. To not reveal yourselves is to treat your readers with less dignity than humans deserve and with less respect than democracy should demand.

There is no excuse for the owners of the Las Vegas Review-Journal to hide their identities, and the Society requests that they immediately introduce themselves to their readers and employees. Otherwise, people will have considerable justification to question the quality and value of the information provided by an organization overseen by a shadowy company of anonymous financial backers.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit spj.org.


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