Daily Iowan editor resigns after use of mug shots criticized

On Tuesday, the Daily Iowan published a story about an increase in meth-related burn patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The first comment posted said:

So you put pictures of random meth offenders that have nothing to do with the story. Yeah what a news team. Childish idiots.

And from another commenter questioning the use of mug shots to illustrate the story:

I agree with the first comment NONE of these people are burn victims. They have nothing to do with this story. I think that is horrible they used their pictures, and on the front page? come on really? i hope they sue the crap out of you.

Editor-in-chief Adam Sullivan resigned the day the photos appeared with the meth story — “personnel issues” were cited — and a correction ran in Wednesday’s paper. It said: “The combination of the photographs and the story may have given the impression that those seven people had been treated at the UIHC burn unit. …[but] the photographs were obtained from the Johnson County Jail and were of individuals arrested for some methamphetamine charges.”

Daily Iowan publisher Bill Casey and Sullivan wouldn’t say anything to Iowa City Patch about the photos and the resignation. I’ve asked both men to comment.

UPDATE — Sullivan says in an email: “While it’s unfortunate that my time at The Daily Iowan ended early, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished there over the last four years. I have every confidence that the staff I put in place will continue to see success the rest of this year and beyond. I look forward to continuing my journalistic career elsewhere.”

Publisher Casey says the university hospital had nothing to do with Sullivan’s departure. “I have been publisher of The Daily Iowan for 36 years and during that time the University of Iowa has not once ever tried to influence a decision by the paper,” he writes in an email. “Beyond that I cannot comment.”

* Unanswered questions surround Daily Iowan editor’s resignation
* The story (photos aren’t in the online version) || The correction
* Earlier: Daily Iowan editor hires blogger who’s been pointing out errors