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Newspaper risked credibility by making deal with hospital

Anne Arundel Medical CenterThe Capital, a 47,000-circulation daily newspaper in Annapolis, Md., sold its weekly Health Page to Anne Arundel Medical Center, a local hospital, one day in March, putting it in charge of all content, including the stories and layout. The deal was ethically and journalistically wrong, unfair to the readers and a bad business decision, according to experts, and even the paper's publisher. But striking such deals with local hospitals or other medical providers is not uncommon, although they're more predominant among local television stations than newspapers, according to Bob Steele, the journalism values scholar at the Poynter Institute.

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