Journalists, Media Professionals Donating Frequently to Federal Political Candidates

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Journalists, Media Professionals Donating Frequently to Federal Political Candidates this Election Cycle
By Megan R. Wilson on September 14, 2010

Last year, Christopher Hayes gave $250 to the congressional campaign of a good friend, Alabama Democrat Josh Segall. That’s hardly noteworthy, but for one factor: Hayes is the Washington, D.C., editor of The Nation, a left-leaning news magazine that covers U.S. politics. And his political donation is not an anomaly in journalism, where donating to or otherwise advocating for politicians is often taboo – if not prohibited outright by some news companies.

Hayes is one of 235 people who identified themselves on government documents as journalists, or as working for news organizations, who together have donated more than $469,900 to federal political candidates, committees and parties during the 2010 election cycle, a Center for Responsive Politics analysis indicates.

People identifying themselves as working for hard news outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, the New York Post, News Corp., Vanity Fair and Reuters are among the listed donors. Also listed are employees from outlets offering lighter fare — ESPN, Vogue — or community news. Some have donated thousands of dollars.
The average contribution per person identified is eight times Hayes’ amount, and because of some big-spending media professionals, that number is slightly skewed upwards — with the median amount donated coming in at $500. Sixty-five percent of all identified donations went to Democrats, the Center’s research indicates.

To download an itemized spreadsheet of self-identified journalists and other people working for news organizations, click here: Media Donations 091410.xls