The Union’s conflict of interest in reporting on the NCERC-“Green Screen Institute”

The Union has an highly positive article about a local virtual reality class called Connected Communities Academy. It basically is a free advertisement for the academy stating that the start date for classes is “flexible and will be based on minimum enrollment requirements.”

In this instance, the article is written by the son of The Union’s city editor.

What the article does not disclose is an inherent conflict of interest. The Union is a paid contractor with the Nevada County Economic Resource Council to manage the county’s tourism website. And the executive director of the NCERC also is the managing partner of the Green Screen Institute. The academy also is partially funded by the NCERC.

I am excited about the potential of virtual reality. But I am not excited about the conflict of interest that exists between The Union, the NCERC and the “Green Screen Institute.” It does not lead to objective reporting.

I also still don’t understand how holding virtual reality classes will create local virtual reality jobs. That is a stretch.

This is an issue the Nevada County Board of Supervisors should take more seriously, since the NCERC is funded by the county.

Come on people, we can do better.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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