"News" reporter paid by candidate

Tamarac resident Sharon Aron Baron is one of the new breed of reporter on the Internet. She runs a site called Tamarac Talk that claims to cover local news and occasionally contributes the "The Examiner" news site. 

If you look at her site today you'll see a prominent photo of Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who is running for judge. Last month she wrote a story for the Examiner about Lieberman. Here's an excerpt:

"Lieberman is a not only a longtime resident, but she is a friend to her community here in Tamarac, and is always accessible to her neighbors. Whenever residents need help, Lieberman is always there to take their calls or their emails. She always has a rule about answering her emails promptly and knows how to "cut to the chase" and find the right person in Broward County government to solve the problem. Many residents agree her memory is like a walking rolodex of information that goes back years."

That little report is dated June 9. What Baron doesn't disclose is that Lieberman, on May 22, paid Baron's media company, Talk Media, $1,074 to do work on her campaign website. See it here on Lieberman's expenditure report.

We've seen this before. Keep it in mind when you're political and news blogs -- they don't follow the same rules as professional media sources. You never know who's paying who, but I'll report every instance I find.