Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

October 6, 2013

Conflict questions raised in PR firm’s tie to DA

Police chief: $8K paid to principals who also own weekly paper

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

Wylie also told a reader who responded to the article that the PR business is separate from the weekly newspaper even though they share the same owners and business address, and that clients of the PR firm have no influence over what is published in the paper.
Wylie quoted his wife in the article as questioning whether Brown’s request for financial records of the relationship was an attempt to intimidate the Wylies “while hiding behind a badge, uniform and gun.” 
That caused Brown to raise questions of conflict of interest between the Wylies’ PR business relationship with DA Steidley and the couple’s newspaper criticism of the police chief and other supporters of the petition asking a grand jury to look into her conduct in office.
“It seems the bias is the result of Wylie’s public relations contract with (DA) Steidley,” said Brown. “Wylie has published material without asking me for information, which is very one-sided and appears to be improper for a journalist.”
Two former presidents of the Society of Professional Journalists, the country’s largest journalism organization, told The Daily Progress the relationship between the Wylies and the district attorney was a violation of the organization’s voluntary code of ethics regarding conflict of interest.
Kevin Smith, chairman of the SPJ Ethics Committee and deputy director of the Kiplinger Public Affairs Program at Dayton, Ohio, University, and Fred Brown, a Sunday columnist for the Denver Post and a former ethics chairman, said it is inappropriate for journalists to engage in a business relationship with public officials, even if indirectly through a separate company.
“You are either a journalist or something else,” said Smith. “You cannot have a public relations firm that deals with public officials and then run a newspaper and expect that you will some how divide yourself between the two.”

Text Only
State/Nation
  • Gas prices continue falling in Oklahoma

    AAA Oklahoma says gas prices continue to drop in the state as demand nationwide drops below 9 million barrels per day.

    July 29, 2014

  • Perry: Texas plans to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to bolster security along the Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA renames building for Neil Armstrong

    NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • New arrivals worry some in the Oklahoma panhandle

    A family who says they were excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect has moved to a small city located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, raising concerns among some residents.

    July 20, 2014

  • Celebrate 45 years since man's first steps on the moon

    Now's the time to get moonstruck.

    Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step ... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

    July 20, 2014

  • US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma Capitol renovation project previewed

    State officials have previewed preliminary plans for renovating the century-old Oklahoma State Capitol amid a display of artifacts from groundbreaking ceremonies for the structure.

    July 17, 2014

  • House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

    The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

    One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

    July 17, 2014

  • Should online accounts die when you die?

    Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

    July 17, 2014

  • Obama, Putin discuss Malaysia Plane incident

    The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have discussed the Malaysia Airlines plane incident over eastern Ukraine.

    July 17, 2014