By Richard Wald
Richard Wald is ABC's Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President Richard Wald drafted the
network's new policy on speaking fees:
Before accepting a speech of any kind, you
must consult the desk or your executive producer or, in the case of something
that might raise a question, the Director of News Practices.
You may not speak for a fee before any group
which you cover or might reasonably expect to cover in the normal course
of your work. Further, if you have already received a fee from a group
you are now asked to cover, you should tell your executive producer or
bureau chief and make a determination about how to handle the situation.
√long with the general prohibition against
activities that identify you publicly with any partisan position in current
debate, you may not accept a speaking fee ó or any payment ó from such a group.
¬ou may not accept a fee from a trade
association or from a for-profit business. Reasonable and proper expenses,
from speeches cleared with a bureau chief or executive producer, are acceptable.
Łne last thing. We are often asked to
make speeches during the working day. Occasionally, with the approval of
an executive producer or bureau chief, that is proper and acceptable. But
frequency counts and when it becomes a regular habit, it is not OK.