Local TV sports anchor Randy Shaver and his news director Jane Helmke defended against any possible conflict of interest in Shaver’s holding fundraisers at local sports events, according to the Star Tribune.
Shaver, from Minnesota NBC-affiliate KARE11, “has helped raise over $4,000,000 dollars for cancer research and patient aid in Minnesota since 1995,” according to his bio on the station’s website.
Shaver said the station has been “transparent” and Helmke commented that the foundation fundraising hasn’t affected coverage of sports. Helmke told the Star Tribune:
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“There was never a point where we didn’t cover a game, as an example, because someone was or was not a part of ‘Tackle Cancer.'”
However, media ethics professor Jane Kirtley called it “ethically questionable” because Shaver is “using what is essentially a news program to promote a foundation — a charitable foundation — in which he has a stake.”
Health News Review weighed in as well, arguing that “legitimate questions can be, should be, and have been raised by the Star Tribune” in this case.