Are Oil and Gas Companies Paying Journalists For Research?

New York’s PFC Opinion Research is sullying the good name of Washington, D.C. journalists with dubious consulting gigs, reports The Washington Post. The gigs take the form of 25-minute interviews, compensated with a $250 cash “honorarium”. The interviews are about the oil and gas industry and they are reaching out to journalists on the energy beat. PFC Opinion Research has been subcontracted, so the company behind the research remains a mystery.

The obvious concern is that if journalists work for the companies they report on they can no longer be trusted to do so neutrally. PFC Opinion Research has their own ethical complaints.

“It’s ironic that journalists depend on people to give them their opinions but aren’t as forthcoming with their own,” PFC director David Leonard said. “It’s easier to get a congressman to participate.” 

Big Oil should just bait the journalists on Twitter! They’ll retweet anything on their beat with some free, transparent, and concise expertise.

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kstoeffel [at] | @kstoeffel

Are Oil and Gas Companies Paying Journalists For Research?