Projo’s Bogdan Leaves Paper for Raimondo’s Office - Second Reporter in Two Weeks to Quit

Thursday, February 01, 2018


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Providence Journal now employs just 14 reporters

Another week and another Providence Journal reporter has quit the paper for the greener pastures of state government.

This week it is government reporter Jennifer Bogdan who is leaving the Providence Journal to go to work for Governor Gina Raimondo as the Deputy Communications Director at $82,699.

Last week, it was news reporter Kate Bramson going to work for Senate President Dominick Ruggerio for $121,000.

Both Providence Journal reporters were writing about their future employers right to the day they left the newsroom. Neither Bogdan nor Bramson have any government experience.

The Providence Journal Newsroom now employs just 14 news reporters -- a drop of more than 100 in the past eight years.

Writing on Future Boss Without Disclosure

Bogdan wrote about Raimondo just two days before the position was announced.

"Gov. Gina Raimondo included $1.7 million for the program in the fiscal 2019 budget, which was submitted to the General Assembly last week. The funding would help pay for housing, health care, tuition and other expenses for youths between the ages of 18 and 21 who have been under the care of the Department of Children, Youth and Families," wrote Bogdan."For years, the state automatically provided those services to youths during what advocates say is a critical transition period to adulthood. But in 2007, the state slashed the cut-off for services to age 18 in an effort to save money. Child welfare advocates have argued that the move had a negative effect on youths who weren’t ready to be fully independent.”

“I think the rule is very clear in most of these cases: a reporter can do anything that he or she is willing to declare opening to the reader. If there could be the perception of conflict of interest, then the reporter must declare it explicitly so readers can decide for themselves,” said Tom Bettag, the Eleanor Merrill Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He made the comments after Bramson failed to disclose that she was interviewing with the Senate while she was writing about the Senate.

“If at the bottom of her articles, the reporter had made a disclaimer to this effect, the reporter would have been in the clear. Without that, It would be very questionable,” said Bettag.

Bettag is the winner of 30 Emmy awards, two Peabody awards, six DuPont silver batons and the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award.

Among Bettag’s professional experience is 22 years with CBS News, which included working as a producer for CBS Radio, CBS Morning News, CBS Evening with Walter Cronkite, 60 Minutes and serving as Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather from 1986-1991.

Bramson covered the controversial Senate action on the PawSox funding scheme of approximately $40 million in public financing just three days before she announced her departure.

Both reporters were covering their future bosses while they were interviewing.


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