Can journalists simultaneously work as media trainers?

A reporter’s wealth of industry knowledge may seem like a natural fit for coaching clients, but there’s an obvious conflict of interest, as one TV news anchor found out.

It’s not uncommon to see a journalist become a PR professional.

A member of the news media can offer valuable insights when helping train and promote clients.

However, when a journalist is concurrently a PR pro, the dual roles can lead to a nasty conflict of interest.

Last week, The Toronto Star reported that Leslie Roberts, a Canadian journalist and Global Television news anchor, was suspended indefinitely following an investigation revealing that the very individuals appearing on Roberts’ show were also clients of his PR firm.

Roberts is not only the anchor for Global’s “News Hour” and “The Morning Show,” he’s also Global News’ executive editor. Between segments, Roberts would go to BuzzPR and help with “creative work,” such as pitches and media training.

Online and on-air boosterism

Along with interviewing his clients on air, Roberts tweeted about them to more than 20,000 Twitter followers. According to The Toronto Star, that wasn’t all:

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