Sinclair Broadcast Group Monday refuted reports that it struck campaign-season deals that provided Donald Trump better coverage.
“We offered both major presidential candidates the same opportunities to be interviewed by our local anchors on a regular basis. There was no ‘deal’ on the tone, tenor, or subject of the interviews,” said Scott Livingston, the group’s VP of news. “We did not offer favorable or preferential treatment to either candidate, nor did we ever waiver from our commitment to provide rigorous, thoughtful, and thorough coverage to the millions who rely on local television.”
“It is in everyone’s best interest that candidates speak to voters through interviews with professional reporters. Our outreach to both Secretary Clinton’s and President-elect Trump’s campaigns was meant to deliver meaningful, informative newscasts to our local viewers. We stand behind that practice.”
Andrew Seaman, chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee, issued an apology to Sinclair for publishing a story about a Sinclair/Trump deal after reading about it in Politico.
“After hearing from Sinclair’s representatives and viewing emails between the company and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign, I don’t believe the interview arrangements fell outside what would be considered ethical journalism. Therefore, I apologize to Sinclair for assuming the Politico story, which was based off third-party reports, was accurate,” he said.
The story was based on conversations with people who reportedly overheard Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
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