Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why the Post-Dispatch didn't run an article naming Schwarzenegger's mistress

Several news organizations today published stories about former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's mistress revealing her name. The editors at the Post-Dispatch, however, chose not to include that story in today's paper.
We have decided that the Schwarzenegger story should be treated like any other story about a celebrityor politician involved in an affair. In most cases, these items appear only as briefs in the paper, noting the breakup of a marriage or filing of divorce papers. (In Wednesday's edition, we didrun a longer piece because it included the first public statements of both Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, about the affair.)
Due to Schwarzenegger's celebrity before becoming a politician and the political ties of Shriver's family (she is the daughter of Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver) and her own celebrity as a television journalist and author, the couple often has been in thelimelight. Now, Schwarzenegger's mistress and their child have now been thrust onto the stage, but only because of the breakup of the Schwarzenegger-Shriver marriage.
This situation has triggered debates in newsrooms around the country. Schwarzenegger obviously is a public figure, but what about his mistress? Should she be named? And if we do so, don't we subsequently identify the child?
Several news organizations, including the New York Times, decided to publish her name. The Times article is about the media's coverage of the affair. The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story about the affair, also has an article about the media coverage, but chose not to disclose hername.

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