NBC News is under fire for so-called “checkbook journalism” as the peacock network offered over $100,000 for the exclusive footage of the mid-air collision of two skydiving planes. NBC News will also have exclusive interviews with the survivors of the spectacular crash.
$100,000 seems to be the going rate over at 30 Rock as it is the same amount cited in reports over another instance of “pay-for-say” news involving NBC paying Hannah Anderson for her personal story of being kidnapped by a family friend who killed her mother and brother.
A spokesperson at NBC News defended the Anderson story saying they merely paid her for exclusive “footage and personal material.” They used the same rationale for the plane crash interviews. “Our licensing of this footage is standard industry practice and is the result of a very competitive process with other major broadcast outlets,” a spokesperson said.
The pattern of behavior is raising charges of “checkbook journalism“:
The controversial practice has created problems for television networks before, and some news divisions, such as ABC, have sworn it off entirely after receiving criticism for handing over money to interview subjects.
The Post said that NBC would not confirm the exact amount given, but that it does exceed six figures.
The group of six skydivers and two pilots will appear on Tuesday morning’s “Today,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” and “Dateline NBC.”
In another remarkable revelation from NBC News, apparently their cable network, MSNBC, actually pays Al Sharpton to host a show every night.