Ben Richardson, one of the editors of Bloomberg News, resigned from his position on Monday which, according to The New York Times, makes him the third staff member of Bloomberg News to leave the company in four months. The reason for Richardson’s departure was due to the company’s (in Richardson’s words) mishandling of a story involving the supposed ties between China’s wealthiest families and the nation’s top leaders. According to Richardson, the company threatened legal action against any employee who tried to speak out on the story. Bloomberg has been trying to sell its highly lucrative financial terminals, which are seen on Wall Street frequently, to the Chinese market for quite some time. Anonymous employees believe that the story would’ve kept Bloomberg from doing business in the large but controlling country. Although this appears to be a business decision, one has to question the journalistic ethics of Bloomberg News.
Journalists are meant to pursue the truth and deliver it to the public, so why would a news organization want to keep such an eye-opening story from the public? Unfortunately, Bloomberg chose economics over ethics regarding the story. Bloomberg believes they can sell their terminals to the very wealthy higher-ups in China, thereby expanding their name and product to one of the most powerful markets on the planet. China’s government is also very controlling of its people, censoring negative news and blocking access to certain sites on the Internet. Journalists are constantly trying to report stories of civil unrest and political travesties, but it is often hard for stories to break within the nation. The possibility of a story describing government corruption in China draws major attention, but the public may never know the truth with Bloomberg keeping it under wraps. Bloomberg killing the story also puts Bloomberg in a negative light as a news organization. This act is the exact opposite of what journalism is supposed to be and, for me, takes away all the credibility of Bloomberg News. Why should I trust a news organization that denies me an interesting story because it’s not best for business?