Meet Leslie Boyd, reporter with the Asheville Citizen-Times. On June 20, Ms. Boyd was the keynote speaker at the WNC for Change Healthcare Reform Rally held at Pritchard Park in Asheville. (Photo here.) She was also the Asheville Citizen-Times photographer for the event. This evening, July 23, at 5:30 p.m., Ms. Boyd is scheduled to speak at the R.E.A.L. Action for a Public Option rally hosted by MoveOn.org at Heath Shuler’s Asheville office.
For evidence of whether Ms. Boyd’s involvement has influenced the news, I refer you to last week’s rally in opposition to Nationalized Healthcare. On Friday, July 17, over 250 area citizens gathered at the Asheville office of Heath Shuler (D-NC11) in opposition to the proposed government takeover of healthcare. The Asheville Citizen-Times did not send a single reporter or photographer. To date, not a single word in Asheville’s only daily newspaper has been devoted to this event.
When Ms. Boyd became a journalist, she made the choice to be an impartial observer and reporter of the news. She promised to uphold a code of ethics which prohibits her from entering into public politics and activism. This was a career choice that she made and, judging by the name she has made for herself at the Asheville Citizen-Times, it was a good one. If she has now changed her mind and wishes to enter the political activism arena, that is indeed her prerogative. What she may not do, however, is straddle the fence between the two occupations. She may not make the news and report it too.