ABC's Policy  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Features
From AJR,   June 1995

ABC's Policy   

By Richard Wald
Richard Wald is ABC's Senior Vice President     

Senior Vice President Richard Wald drafted the network's new policy on speaking fees:

Before accepting a speech of any kind, you must consult the desk or your executive producer or, in the case of something that might raise a question, the Director of News Practices.

You may not speak for a fee before any group which you cover or might reasonably expect to cover in the normal course of your work. Further, if you have already received a fee from a group you are now asked to cover, you should tell your executive producer or bureau chief and make a determination about how to handle the situation.

long with the general prohibition against activities that identify you publicly with any partisan position in current debate, you may not accept a speaking fee or any payment from such a group.

ou may not accept a fee from a trade association or from a for-profit business. Reasonable and proper expenses, from speeches cleared with a bureau chief or executive producer, are acceptable.

ne last thing. We are often asked to make speeches during the working day. Occasionally, with the approval of an executive producer or bureau chief, that is proper and acceptable. But frequency counts and when it becomes a regular habit, it is not OK.