A police officer pulled Casper Star-Tribune prep sports reporter Clint Robus over on the 4th of July because of a “malfunctioning license plate light” and noticed the journalists’ eyes were bloodshot and his vehicle smelled of alcohol. Robus told the cop that he had had two beers before heading out to Walmart.
The Lee-owned Star-Tribune ran a story on its reporter’s arrest and posted his mug shot, which angered a former Star-Tribune staffer.
“I was so pissed to see my old newspaper go overboard with the DUI arrest of a sports/preps reporter,” writes Deirdre Stoelzle Graves. “His mugshot and a brief ran big instead of the usual barebones info on the DUI list in the blotter.”
As a crime reporter and later city editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, I liked putting accused people’s jobs in articles because I thought it made them more human, but the top editors questioned this and ultimately decided we’d only do so if their jobs put them in the public’s trust (like a day-care worker or a senator).
This case goes beyond the public figurehood rationale — being a sports reporter writing preps at the local hoo-ha doesn’t make you that. Seems like pretty ruthless h/r policies at Lee Enterprises. I think he could sue if he weren’t so worried about keeping his job.