Editorial independence


File this in the "Do as we say; not as we do" file. Some of the country's leading newspaper companies, which also happen to own TV stations, have joined new digital spectrum pooling groups, such as iBlast, that will let their TV outlets earn datacasting revenue. Ironically, two of the most prominent iBlast members had harsh things to say in their editorial pages when broadcasters revealed in 1997 that datacasting and lower-resolution multichannel lineups might be a more appropriate use for the digital spectrum than a single high-definition channel. The New York Times called the decision "welfare for broadcasters" and said the digital spectrum should have been auctioned to the highest bidder. Business Week, whose parent company also owns McGraw-Hill Broadcasting, accused TV stations of "reneging on their tacit promise" to give viewers a "crystal-clear picture."