MinnPost skewered by commenters over conflict of interest controversy
|Dornfeld, reporting for MinnPost, criticized MPR's lawsuit against the Met Council despite just coming off the Met Council's payroll last year.|
The kerfuffle was over a piece entitled, "How MPR's legal misadventure is driving up the cost of LRT line," written by Steven Dornfeld. Framed as a straight news piece, it summarizes MPR's now-settled lawsuit against the Met Council in response to concerns LRT construction could negatively impact MPR's studios, points out a variety of reasons why "MPR's case was particularly weak," and details how the legal wrangling may have added close to a million dollars to the Central Corridor project cost.
But in the version of the piece initially published, MinnPost editors didn't disclose that Dornfeld worked from 2003 until last year as the Met Council's director of public affairs, meaning he clearly isn't in a position to write a conflict of interest-free news piece on the legal battle between MPR and his former employer.
As comments criticizing the lack of disclosure mounted, MinnPost editors went back and added this paragraph: "(Disclosure: From 2003 to 2011, I was the Metropolitan Council's director of public affairs. See my full professional bio here.)"
Here's what some commenters said about MinnPost's ex post facto disclosure:
A thoughtful approach to news? Not in this case.