Thanks to the phoned-in half-day yesterday, we’re only now catching up with the weekend’s less-essential New York Times sections. So we were surprised to notice the Sunday Styles’ above-the-fold piece on MTV’s reality-show insta-dud I’m From Rolling Stone. Why? Because the article was written by a Rolling Stone contributor, a fact that everyone convenientally forgot to mention.
Although the story is about the media’s interest in portraying magazine-office life, it’s pegged to I’m From Rolling Stone, and even includes a quote from the magazine’s founder, Jann Wenner. That’s all well and good, except that nowhere is it mentioned that the author of the piece, Lola Ogunnaike, last year wrote a Rolling Stone cover story on Kanye West. So, in essence, she gets to write about (and quote) a guy who could eventually help her land future plum RS assignments, something that no one at the Times deemed worthy of disclosure.
Look, we realize that writing about the industry that feeds you can get messy. But lordy, does anyone care about conflict-of-interest rules anymore? Or is the Times giving every contributor a permission slip to write about their former and future bosses? Yay, asleep-at-the-wheel editing! Yay, bad journalism!
TV Drama Rips The Cover Off Magazines [NY Times]