Chequebook journalism and covering the trapped miners

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Chile these past couple of months, covering the trapped and now freed miners. The results are here, here, and here.

After the miners were freed, many journalists offered them a lot of money for interviews. Outlets engaging in this practice included some of the most recognized media institutions in the world. Maclean’s did not pay a cent.

I think this was the right decision. In general I don’t like the practice of paying interview subjects, and if a journalist does so, I think he or she has an obligation to make that clear in the resulting reportage. I would genuinely appreciate readers’ thoughts on this.

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