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How To Score A Free Hotel Room From A TV Producer

Where: Perugia, Italy
October 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM | by | ()

Tired of booking overpriced rooms in crowded cities? Want to an escape for the whole family? Here's one way to ensure a comped hotel stay.

Hollywood Reporter pointed out last week that the Seattle-based family of Amanda Knox, the American exchange student held in Italian custody for four years for the murder of her roommate, was doing a great job of getting free hotel stays from a number of American TV producers. All of whom, of course, were hungry for their own exclusive interview with Knox. But nonetheless. A free hotel room in Perugia? Sounds pretty good to us. If only there was a way to avoid the whole incarcerated-family-member snag. Other than that, that's a real winning scheme.

Kurt Knox's daughters, Ashley, 16, and Delaney, 13, were legally unable to attend court room hearings during the trial last week, and without their father, had no real place to go. Knox alleges that producers from quite a few networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) extended offers for the girls to stay in their rooms while court was in session. According the the article, though, many networks are reluctant to confirm any such arrangements were made:

"There has been increased attention lately on how networks get these interviews, with ABC declaring this summer it would no longer pay interview subjects to license photos or videos, seen as a dodge of the common journalistic practice of not paying people to tell their stories.

Producers might be able to help the Knoxes see if they could find care for their teenage daughters, but offering something with a specific monetary value — their hotel rooms — isn't a good idea, said Kelly McBride, senior faculty member for ethics at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank.

Even without a specific expectation of something in return, 'it is unfair to the source because they are in a position of vulnerability,' McBride said."

Of course, none of this means that the family was actually swayed by the 'kindness' of these producers, who Kurt Knox said, "will not have any influence as to which network, if any, that Amanda may choose to go with in the future."

That's right, Kurt. You make 'em work for it!

[Photo: Hollywood Reporter]

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