Letter: Arkansas TV newsman’s commentary lacked important disclosures

Letter to Romenesko

Romenesko note: Journalism professor Donna Lampkin Stephens was recently named head of the University Arkansas Center for Ethics in Journalism. KFSM-TV (Fayetteville) managing editor Larry Henry questioned the appointment, but failed to mention that his mother-in-law was on the selection committee (she didn’t back Stephens) and that he had been rejected twice for university positions. Comments on his piece were turned off after readers pointed that out.

I’ve left messages for Henry and his news director Randy Bagley.

From A READER: Please keep me anonymous. My company’s editors have long ago asked that we not engage in conversations about a particular someone openly….

Newsrooms in Arkansas are rumbling with excitement after Arkansas Business editor Gwen Moritz published a letter to KFSM’s news director today.

Larry Henry

Larry Henry

Channel 5 (KFSM) news manager Larry Henry crossed over to TV journalism from print two years ago. Since that time he has constantly muddied the water with ethics and has used his position along with social media to attack print journalists, along with the University of Arkansas. It should be added that most journalists in this state have a few choice words about certain happenings at the University of Arkansas.

However, many print journalist I know were outraged last week when Henry printed a confusing story about the hiring of a top position for the university’s ethics center. This attack story, with little to no facts, was written without mention of his mother-in-law’s involvement or the fact that he has applied twice to a position at the university and was not hired. A few of these facts are common knowledge among journalists in the state. When comments started mounting up on the story about some of these facts, the comments were mysteriously turned off.

Arkansas Business editor Gwen Moritz laid the facts on the table with her letter. You can’t understand how exciting and how relieving this letter is for many in this state.

* An open letter to KSFM’s news director (arkansasbusiness.com)