Ask an Expert
Legacy Scholar Grant
The Page Center will award grants to support scholars and professionals making important contributions to knowledge, practice or public understanding of ethics and resposibility in public communication or other principles of Arthur W. Page.
Penn State Live
INTERVIEWER: You said you covered the State House in Trenton and one of the things that, especially from that era, was there a problem of reporters being too cozy with some of these legislators? Were there instances where reporters knew about shady stuff in people’s private lives that they just kept under their hats whereas 20 years later they might have reported it. Can you recall anything along those lines?
CURLEY: When I was there, there were a couple of counties in New Jersey, one was highly Republican, and then one was the opposite – Democratic, where it was said that the political reporters in those counties were paid by the parties to do public relations, in other words to take care of them. But, at the State House I didn’t see any of that, but I suspect it actually did exist because it was always a topic of conversation that these guys were taken care of. But I think it was more of a thing where there was a concentration of one party or another as opposed to the general run of things across the state. No, I didn’t see that really.
INTERVIEWER: What about in general, do you think newspapers were more respectful in people’s privacy than they later became?
CURLEY: I’m certain of that, and I’m certain that if we had pried or looked we’d have probably found some things, but I don’t think anything came across as that obvious. Later, after I was gone from that market and from New Jersey, a governor was said to be involved with his close assistant, or cabinet officer or whatever and papers would refer to her as the governors’ close associate so I think that is as far as it went.