In his blog, "Dr. Vino," Tyler Colman recently revealed that writers for a well-known wine-industry newsletter, The Wine Advocate, had accepted paid trips to cover the industry. The newsletter's founder, Robert M. Parker Jr., has maintained the importance of paying his own way on such trips, The Wall Street Journal subsequently reported, but one of the writers racked up a $25,000 tab for travel, hotel and meals that was paid by Wine Australia.
Do such payments call into question a reporter's credibility, or do you think that an honest reporter can maintain his or her objectivity under such circumstances? Does it make a difference that Parker previously had stressed the importance of paying his own way to cover the industry?
Post your thoughts here by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below. Please include your name, hometown, and state, province, or country. Readers' comments may appear in an upcoming column. Or e-mail your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also respond to the poll with this question that will appear on the right-hand side of the blog until polling is closed.
Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.
Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to email@example.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.
c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)