Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feb. 24: Reporters Wrong To Take Up Scientology Grudge Match

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Are Russell Carollo, Christopher Szechenyi and Steve Weinberg really that hard up for money?

It's hard to imagine why the three - all with long and stellar pedigrees in journalism - would accept thousands of dollars from the Church of Scientology to put together a report challenging the St. Petersburg Times' stories about Scientology. Needless to say, the sect isn't happy with the Times:

This is not an independent study. This is a Scientology grudge match, and it might not even be published. What happens to Carollo, Szechenyi and Weinberg then?

It's true that journalism is in its most uncertain state in ages. Unfortunately, many reputable journalists have been making unsavory deals to keep the bills paid.

This is about as unsavory as it gets. It's worth asking the three journalists what they think of the medium's future. Not very much, judging by their acceptance of blood money.

After that, it's hard to think highly of them.

1 comment:

steve weinberg said...

The Scientologists did not hire me to edit the study. Rather, the two veteran investigative reporters who conducted the study asked me to serve as editor.

As for your conclusion that the study is not independent of the Scientologists: wrong. The two reporters received their payment up front, then operated with total independence. I also edited with total independence--I have never even spoken to anybody related to Scientology about my editing.

The study consists of high-quality journalism meant to document how well the St. Petersburg Times covered various occurrences within Scientology.