Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklewhite visited his Washington bureau on Friday morning in December with a good job: When the boss was a candidate, he explained to his political reporters how to run a presidential election campaign.
Speaking to about 100 journalists from the glass-walled conference room, Mr Micklethwaite said that Michael and Bloomberg’s entry into the Democratic race did not change the promise of skeptical coverage. “We always knew it would be difficult,” he told the group. “But we’re actually showing what we are: an independent news agency.”
Not every reporter was assured. Rival candidates attacked journalists’ propaganda as biased; Some sources stopped calling back. One reporter said that the bureau’s credibility was at risk, citing Mr McLeatherweight’s public memo that Bloomberg News would refrain from “investigating” Mr Bloomberg and his Democratic competitors.
Mr Miklethwaite said he was referring to a group of specialized investigative journalists, not broad political employees, but he declined requests from the journalists to clarify the issue. According to several people who described the previous unexpected town hall meeting, many journalists felt uncertain about how to proceed.
Two months later, pressure and anxiety inside Bloomberg News just escalated. Journalists who hoped Mr Bloomberg’s candidacy would prove to be short-lived saw him vault toward the highest levels of the Democratic race. President Bloomberg is already in the process of discussing what it means for any news agency that is at risk for a conflict of interest.
William Randolph Hearst, however, has several instances in charge of a major news operation for the media mogul to become president. A Democratic candidate in 1904, Has enjoyed cheerleading coverage from his newspaper network.
However, Mr Bloomberg’s presence at his financial information firm is large for 2,700 journalists. New employees received a copy of his autobiography, “Bloomberg Bloomberg” and the agency’s guidance prohibited his “wealth or personal life” coverage. In 2018, Mr. Bloomberg Told an interviewer: “I’m not paying journalists to write bad stories about me.”
The policy proved tarnished during Mr. Bloomberg’s mayor of New York City and his later life as a billionaire social worker and political donor. According to interviews with half a dozen Bloomberg reporters, citing fear of retaliation from authority figures who stressed independence, it is now becoming obsolete.
When Mr Bloomberg announced his candidacy in November, Mr Maclethwaite, an Oxford graduate and former editor of The Economist, promised in a memo sent to staff that the newsletter would write “virtually all aspects of this presidential contest” as we have said so far. Bloomberg will be limited to the investigation, “and we are the same Ititi his opponents will extend the Democratic primary. “
Bloomberg News broadcasting newsletters work separately from news outlets’ projects and investigations teams. But the memo was widely perceived as a signal that Bloomberg News would cease accountability coverage in the Democratic field, even as Bloomberg officials called it a misunderstanding.
Mr Miklethwaite told reporters in December Town Hall that Bloomberg News Management had not stopped publishing any political stories. “If you notice what we are doing and the piece we are writing, there is no doubt that we are reporting this aggressively,” he said.
Bloomberg News political journalists, however, say that the memo has drawn unnecessary criticism from its readers and publicists. And they expressed disappointment that it offered a level of internal censorship that they said was not a reflection of their experience.
In December, the outlet published an article noting it Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren criticized Amazon When providing an organization for services. It was a run-of-the-mill story by a presidential race, where minor hypocrisy was a fair game for journalists. However, the candidates and their associates get involved in the story Bloomberg News charged Of prejudice.
There was also a shout out from Team Trump.
Because Mr. McLeithweight said in the memo that his staff would “investigate the White House as a government of the day,” the Trump campaign called Bloomberg News biased and prohibited it from covering its events. On the Iowa Caucasus day, Bloomberg journalist Jennifer Jacobs was there Get out of A news conference in Trump outside of Des Moines. (Mr Miklethwaite said in a statement last year that the Trump campaign’s “allegation of bias could not be further from the truth.”)
Reporters are also battling the notion that the Bloomberg News is an addition to his boss’s political activities.
The agency’s two opinion journalists, Timothy L. O’Brien and David Shipley, who both previously worked in the New York Times, took leave of absence to join Bloomberg’s publicity. An editor of Bloomberg News The campaign was jumping, As well, with a handful of staff members from TV and video production parties.
A spokeswoman for Bloomberg News said there had been no contact with Mr Bloomberg or his promotion since Mr Millethwaite announced his bid.
The accusation that Mr. Blenberg was betrayed by the First Amendment did not stop critics like Mrs. Warren. “He should let journalists do their job and report on it and show everyone else as they see fit,” Mrs. Warren Wrote on Twitter Last month added: “This ban leaves journalists in an impossible situation and upsets a free press.”
Mr Micklethwaite declined to be interviewed for this article. A spokeswoman for Bloomberg News said in a statement: “Editorial independence has been at the core of Bloomberg News for the past six years. We are proud of the more than 760০ articles published in Bloomberg News Elections and Candidates, since Mike Bloomberg announced that he was becoming President. “
To reassure readers, the news outlet is updating an “Snap coverage of selectionCiting the promise that “we will be as transparent as possible” about electoral coverage on its website, the Bloomberg News bears coverage about Mr. Bloomberg only on subscriptions-terminals written by competitors such as The Times and The Washington Post.
A Bloomberg journalist has been assigned full-time to cover Mr. Bloomberg’s bid: Mark Knickett, a veteran reporter based in Columbus, Ohio, who previously covered the infrastructure.
He did not refrain from reporting on negative development. Last week, his byline appeared at the top A 600-word article About an audio recording of Mr. Bloomberg 2015 praising Bloomberg Stop & Freezing Policing. On Sunday, Mr. Nickiott co-authored a story on anxiety Mr Bloomberg’s “Comments on Policing, Women and the Nation.”
Mr Newquet, who traveled to many of Mr Bloomberg’s publicity events, also criticized Mr Bloomberg’s economic, healthcare and infrastructure plans. In the title “Bloomberg provides some details to back up the trillions to spend.”
In Washington, in December Town Hall, Mr Micklethwaite said he was accustomed to hearing complaints about conflicts of interest. He cites Wall Street executives dissatisfied with their firms’ coverage of Bloomberg News – a company that spends significant sums on access to Bloomberg LP’s financial information.
For the challenges of covering his boss, Mr Micklethwaite noted that Mr Bloomberg’s political law could last anywhere from months to nine years.
For journalists gathered in front of him, it did not miss the point. Mr Bloomberg’s prospects in the White House have become a matter of considerable concern among Bloomberg News reporters.
If Mr. Bloomberg has had trouble selling his company, if elected, in the past, some reporters believe that a new owner will probably not agree to subsidize an expensive news-gathering operation that is ultimately linked to the company’s core product, the financial information terminals that investor The prince from the class gives the sum of the subscriptions.
And if a president, Bloomberg, is sitting in his media company, how will Bloomberg News reporters ultimately hold Washington and a federal administration controlled by this person the ultimate liability for their pay-checks?
The company declined to comment on these questions, and journalists there said it was too early to start preparing sincerely for this national event.
Mr Bloomberg himself, in December, asked CBS News about his staff’s concerns about not allowing him to investigate rivals in the presidency.
“You have to learn to live with some things,” the blogger told Anchor Gail King. “They see a salary. But with your pay check, there are some restrictions and responsibilities. “