The Columns

W&L Journalism Ethics Professor Colón Comments on Huffington’s Conflict of Interest

— by on May 3rd, 2016

Aly Colón, the Knight Professor of Ethics in Journalism at Washington and Lee University, has contributed to the conversation about Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and her new role on the board of directors of Uber.

“So how can HuffPost readers rely on HuffPost’s coverage of Uber going forward, knowing its editor-in-chief has a personal and financial stake in the company’s success?” writes Dave Jamieson, labor reporter for the Huffington Post. “According to media ethics experts, the newsroom will have to take precautions to keep readers’ trust.”

“It’s a challenging situation,” Colón told Jamieson. “It doesn’t mean will cease to trust Huffington Post news about Uber. But it will raise a question for anybody who knows she’s on the board. There’s no way around it … If I read a positive story now about Uber in The Huffington Post, I would wonder.”

Colón has spoken to The New York Times, the Pittsburgh News-Gazette and other publications on matters of journalistic ethics. He has been at W&L since 2014.