Modern Times; Checkbook Journalism

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A quick definition:

Checkbook Journalism- It is the practice of paying someone for a news story.

After reading about Hearst and Pulitzer you might think that that kind journalism does not go on anymore, well think again. Checkbook Journalism is another type of yellow Journalism in the fact that someone is getting rich from the convenience of another person, innocent or not.

Below is an article I read on a book written by Carlton Stowers. I paraphrased it as an example of what is very popular in journalism, especially now and days.

	The Lure of Checkbook Journalism

	This article came out of The New Yorker 
and embarked upon a book that was published called 
Open Secrets written buy Carlton Stowers (picture on
the right).  Open Secrets was a detailed investigation 
which led up to case closing murder mystery that 
remained unsolved for years. 

They did not crack the case open until a woman came forward to police after they announced an award for any information that was linked to the murder. In a matter of weeks after the woman came forward the small town investigative team unraveled a chain involving hit men, middle men and greedy men. In Stower’s book, he gives many examples of stories and murder mysteries that involve people making a quick buck off of a crime. In getting the facts straight for his book, Stowers estimated $109,000 in loyalties which was half of the money he made from his book was turned over to the investigative team. “Checkbook Journalism” has been around since the early days of news reporting and it is not going away. The article reports that “checkbook journalism” leaped back into popularity during the William Kennedy Smith rape trial in Florida and again recently during the O.J. Simpson trial. It was revealed that several prosecution witnesses had fattened their bank accounts by selling their stories to the tabloid press. In conclusion, tabloids, newspapers, television, books, and magazines will continue to pay for stories no matter how much the cost will be. Unfortunately, there is nothing people can do to stop others from getting rich off of other people's misfortune. In the future, hopefully there will be laws restricting everyone involved in a court case or crime and restrict those people from receiving money through someone else’s misfortunes.

In the end the Criminals Win

Do you think that criminals should get paid millions of dollars for their crime? I certaintly do not think so. That is one of the many problems in America today, a murderer can walk free and all the guilty get rich; only in America.

Today, they are trying to prevent criminals from making a quick buck off of their crime, but unfortunately there are ways of getting around it. As time goes on I hope that America can fix the problem of checkbook Journalism for good. I also hope that criminals get punished for what they committed and not get paid money for their crime.


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