COLLEGE PARK (4/6/18) — The faculty and leadership of the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism — joined by journalism schools across the country — sent a letter Friday afternoon to Sinclair Broadcast Group chairman David D. Smith.
“While news organizations have historically had and used the prerogative to publish and broadcast editorials clearly identified as opinion, we believe that line was crossed at Sinclair stations when anchors were required to read scripts making claims about ‘the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country,'” the letter states.
In an email to students and alumni, Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish said it was the duty of journalism educators “to stand up for the ethics of the profession.”
“The must-read script interfered with the independence of local newsrooms, threatening to erode public trust in the journalists and news anchors who serve those communities,” Dalglish said.
The full letter to Smith is available here.