Editor ‘horrified’ to read columnist’s admission of unethical behavior

Monroe (Mich.) Evening News editor Deborah Saul says she returned from vacation last week and was “horrified” to read Jeff Meade’s column about the most unethical things he’s done as a journalist, including reconstructing a quote from memory after losing his notes and getting quotes from a coach about a game that had yet to be played.

Saul writes:

To say the least, my blood ran cold.

It is slim comfort that the headline read: Journalism students: Don’t do this.

What the column lacked first of all was context. Most of the incidents happened before he came here — 32 years ago. The column also desperately needed something about life lessons learned from those failures of basic journalistic standards.

The editor says that Meade’s column, “whether he was trying to be funny or philosophical or outrageous, related incidents that didn’t follow the standards I live by” and that the newspaper “expects more of itself and its staff members.”

* Mea culpa column disturbing, says editor (Monroenews.com)
* Earlier: Columnist reveals the most unethical things he’s done as a reporter (JimRomenesko.com)
* Journalism students: Don’t do this (revised with context) (Monroenews.com)