A third federal agency has admitted it paid a journalist to write favorable stories about its work.
Documents released by the Agriculture Department show it paid a freelance writer $9,375 in 2003 to “research and write articles for hunting and fishing magazines describing the benefits of NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) programs.”
Three articles by the writer, Dave Smith, appeared late last year in two magazines aimed at hunting and fishing enthusiasts: Outdoor Oklahoma, published by that state’s Department of Wildlife Conservation, and Washington-Oregon Game & Fish, published by Primedia.
Neither identified Smith as having been paid by the government. The stories focused on how money from a 2002 agricultural subsidy bill had been used to help preserve wetlands that hunting and fishing enthusiasts enjoy in Oklahoma and the Northwest.