How To Deal With Corporate Overlords
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 23, 2006 - 15:09
I asked this question earlier this week:
I didn't realize that it was a common practice for comics publishers to own comics journalists, but today's Journalista! also alerted me to the fact that Platinum Studios bought the comics news site Broken Frontier earlier this month. (Similarly, Journalista! and TCJ are owned by publisher Fantagraphics.) I'm sincere in asking: how do such journalists deal with the obvious conflict of interest this presents? Is there a corporate separation that protects the ability of the journalists to cover the news without interference or does the journalist just not cover their owners?
Life is full of conflicts of interest. I've interacted with many people in cartooning and I try to mute my personal feelings about them before deciding on their newsworthiness. On the other hand, if I knew none of them and nothing about the field, I might be an unbiased source but I wouldn't be a very good one!
If Platinum warrants coverage, I may have to put up a disclaimer because of the perceived conflict of interest, but I think covering Joey Manley represents a greater challenge. Platinum's a sponsor but Joey is a friend. He exerts the greater pull. Both are likely to do something worth mentioning in 2007.
It's just part of the job. I knew it was dangerous when I took it.