By: Allan Wolper
RON MARTIN, EDITOR of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, has told his reporters they could be suspended or fired if they use their clout to buy hard-to-get tickets the public can’t get.
“We don’t take free tickets,”” Martin wrote in a Dec. 19, 1994 “”remember the ethics code”” memo. “”And we don’t use our news contacts around town to ‘jump to the head of the line’ by buying tickets in ways unavailable to the general public.””
He distributed the memo after learning that politicians connected to the Georgia Dome had offered tickets to a sold-out Rolling Stones concert to some reporters.
“Some of our people accepted,”” the editor told his staff.
“Others offered to pay for their tickets. Only one person turned the offer down>””
Martin warned that the newspaper’s ethics code forbids anyone from accepting any tickets to an event unless they were assigned to cover or review it.
Violations, he said, “”henceforth may result in firing our suspension.””