Laura Foreman, journalist whose romance has become a scandal, dies at 76


“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Ms. Foreman told The Inquirer in a statement. “Maybe I did something crazy. Granted, I don’t believe I ever wrote anything for The Inquirer that violated my own professional integrity. “

The Times told her she had to resign, even though the conduct in question had occurred in another newspaper. The Times, in fact, first said his work adhered to the highest ethical standards. But according to an account Ms Foreman wrote in The Washington Monthly in 1978, AM Rosenthal, editor of The Times, told her that because the newspaper was writing tough stories at the time about conflicts of interest involving Bert Lance , a close advisor to Carter. , he couldn’t harbor a conflict per se.

To others, Mr Rosenthal delivered an unforgettable comment that was delivered in several different ways, but essentially said he didn’t care his reporters sleeping with elephants – as long as they didn’t cover the circus.

In Philadelphia, Mr. Roberts, the editor of the Investigator, appointed Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, the newspaper’s top investigative team, to dig up the case. They produced a 17,000-word article, published on October 16, 1977, which exposed the newspaper’s internal rivalries and discovered that the editors had looked the other way to protect a privileged journalist, Ms. Foreman. This was one of the first examples of a newspaper turning its investigative artillery on itself.

Mr Roberts quickly asked editor-in-chief Gene Foreman – unrelated to Laura – to prepare a comprehensive code of ethics, something few newspapers had at the time. The new code required staff members to report potential conflicts to their managers and take action to eliminate any conflict, for example by changing the pace. He also banned the widespread practice of accepting “free” from sources and others in their news coverage.

The aim was to avoid even the appearance of conflict, Mr. Foreman, author of “The Ethical Journalist,” an academic text first published in 2009, said in a telephone interview.

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