Should Journalists Make Kickstarter Donations? We Ask Randy Cohen, The (Original) Ethicist and Kickstarter User
So we wrote to Cohen to ask a tangentially related Question of Ethics. Specifically, what are the journalistic ethics of contributing to Kickstarter projects? Can journalists contribute at all or just in areas they don’t cover? A real arts-related example: Silent Barn, a Queens loftspace adored for its DIY shows, recently crowdsourced funding after a robbery; if a music journalist who’d likely review a show there at some point contributed out of love for the venue, would that be a clear conflict of interest?
"I think you’ve got the ethics of journalism issue just right: You can contribute to any worthy cause as long as it’s not something you cover," Cohen told us over e-mail. "I think that your music journalist should err on the pristine side and not contribute to this venue. There is no shortage of good to be done in the world, and [he/she’d] best do [his/hers] elsewhere."
It’s almost like gaming journalists have no standards or ethics and resort to crying and tantrums when people point it out.