Doing good for publicity
I must admit, I was somewhat baffled by the decision of Castle Toyota/Scion to reneg on four $2,100 scholarships to Patterson High School students because the principal decided not to let the media attend the awards ceremony.
Would the media have attended anyway? Before the event was closed to the press, I'd heard about the announcement of $8,400 in scholarships, and I wasn't planning to go. Around this time of the year, the inbox of every education reporter in the country is filled with press releases about scholarships and awards. Cover one, and we open the floodgates. My general rule of thumb is that a scholarship needs to be unusually large if I'm going to write about it.
In any case... my story today says out loud what I often wonder when I hear about various good deeds for city children. Are the benefactors acting out of the goodness of their hearts, or are they doing it for publicity? Often, I suspect the latter.
If the motivation is publicity, is there anything wrong with that? Should Patterson have done more to accommodate the dealership's requests?
And if people didn't get something out of doing good, how much less good would be done?