Why the Times-Picayune hasn’t run Leonard Pitts’ column about the paper

This was posted Wednesday on the Friends of The Times-Picayune Editorial Staff Facebook page:

I asked Times-Picayune editorial page editor Terri Troncale about holding Pitts’ column. She wrote back:

I still have the column for possible use. As usual, it is beautifully written. There are some nuances that are missing in the Katrina description, so I set it aside to think about it more.

In a follow-up email she wrote:

There is a lot condensed into the lead, and it doesn’t distinguish between reporters and editors who stayed in the city vs. those who left in the trucks to work elsewhere. After looking at it again, those things probably don’t matter to readers. They jumped out at me because I was in the group that stayed in the city. But that may just be me being too picky.

My plan is to run the column this weekend. I think readers will like reading it.

Here is Times-Picayune photographer John McCusker’s problem with the column:

Martha Kegel also wrote on Facebook: “I do hope that Pitts’ column — perhaps edited or footnoted if this really amounts to an inaccuracy — is published in the Times-Picayune because its core points contribute a vital perspective to the discussion of whether Newhouse is doing right by New Orleans — a perspective that in my view the readership of the TP is entitled to see.”

“Agreed,” wrote McCusker. “I just did not like the insinuation, intended or otherwise, that we at any point abandoned the city. We had people here throughout and forgive me if I am a tad defensive on that point.”

* The case for journalists and why every citizen can’t be one (Leonard Pitts)