Texas heat

June 26, 2008

Newspaper reporters are supposed to be objective, which means they usually aren’t allowed to write about things they are personally involved in. If your spouse is on the school board, you can’t be on the education beat. If you’re married to the police chief, you don’t do crime reporting. The saying that covers this, passed along from journalism schools to new reporters is, “If you’re sleeping with the elephant, you don’t cover the circus.” They seem to have ignored this advice in Dallas:

An East Texas newspaper acknowledged Tuesday that a reporter covering a trial of a child sex club dated the prosecutor until five months ago, an allegation the defense team is using to seek a change of venue.

A reporter from television station KLTV is also accused of having a personal relationship with Smith County Assistant District Attorney Joe Murphy. But the station’s news director called the allegation “pure slander.”

If swinging is the norm in Texas, at least the defendants shouldn’t have trouble getting a jury of their peers.

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