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Daily Archives: May 6, 2014

Wade Petite, a reporter for The Creole online newspaper, covers the city council in Gonzales, Louisiana.

“I strive to be objective in all things, but especially in my work,” he writes.

Wade Petite

Wade Petite

But Petite discloses that he signed petitions to recall two of the councilmen that he covers. “I felt that my duty as a citizen of Gonzales outweighed my obligation as a reporter,” he writes. (He’s covered the recall effort.)

The journalist from Louisiana who tipped me off to this writes:

I think he’s totally blown any objectivity. How can he possibly cover future Gonzales City Council meetings objectively?

He further states in the column he tried to address the council on the matter during the April 28 meeting but Mayor Barney Arceneaux prevented him from doing so. His role as reporter is to sit there and cover the meeting, not be a part of the meeting.

I invited Petite and Creole editor Charlotte Guedry to comment. The reporter hasn’t responded, but his boss tells Romenesko readers:

We absolutely support Wade’s right to his Opinion, and the piece he wrote was an Opinion piece. If at any time we feel that his opinion outweighs his ability to be objective, we would, of course, remove him from covering those meetings. Presently, we do not feel that is the case.

Also, reporters are 100% entitled to speak up and ask questions during meetings. In fact, in most meetings, there are always questions asked so as to gain clarification.

Wade’s signing of the petition was done as a citizen of the city limits, not as a reporter for The Creole. He is, in fact, the only employee who lives within those limits, so The Creole would have no say so in the matter.

If he were not entitled to his opinion, that would be the same as saying he should be unable to vote, as his vote could be seen as biased. That, however, would be ludicrous as freedom of speech and his right to cote are completely valid. We wouldn’t restrict that, so we wouldn’t restrict anything that is clearly labeled as an Opinion piece.

* Reporter: Why I signed the recall petitions (thecreole.com)

From the White House Correspondents’ Association’s most recent IRS Form 990 (covering 11/1/2011 to 10/31/2012):dinner

Form 990 for 11/1/2010 to 10/31/2011:
Annual dinner receipts: $631,285
Less charitable contributions: $249,577
Gross income: $381,708
Expenses: $432,443
Net income: -$50,735

Form 990 for 11/1/2009 to 10/31/2010
Annual dinner receipts: $608,390
Less charitable contributions: $198,442
Gross income: $409,948
Expenses: $456,371
Net income: -$46,423

* Steve Brill: WHCA spends more on management than charitable works (cjr.org)
* Form 990s for the White House Correspondents’ Association (propublica.org)

Shaw Media’s Newton Daily News has dismissed editor Bob Eschliman for a post on his personal blog blasting “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” for trying “to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.'”

The Iowa newspaper suspended Eschliman last Wednesday and fired him on Monday. “This was a very difficult situation,” says publisher Dan Goetz.

Shaw Media president John Rung writes in today’s Daily News:

Last week, Mr. Eschliman expressed an opinion on his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media. While Mr. Eschliman is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.

Mr. Eschliman has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.

Today’s paper also has letters about Eschliman – the first ones published since the controversy erupted a week ago.

* Newton Daily News begins search for new editor (newtondailynews.com)
* Earning public trust our priority, says Shaw Media boss (newtondailynews.com)
* Letter #1 | Letter #2 | Letter #3
* Earlier: Iowa editor’s blog post blasts “the Gaystapo and LGBTQXYZ crowd (jimromenesko.com)




photobomb

“I didn’t see the guy until the end of my live shot,” Jake Burns tells Romenesko readers. “He must have walked up behind me in the middle of it. I noticed him standing within only a few feet of me when I turned to reference the building again at the end of my hit. Since I was wrapping things up anyway, I just tossed things back to our anchors.

“Needless to say, I wasn’t too thrilled about it, especially since this was a murder scene. He left after I told him why I disapproved of him making light of a serious story.”

* What was this guy thinking? asks WTVR-TV in Richmond, VA (facebook.com)

Love those calls to the newsroom!
calls
* “Great point” about smiling dead people, tweets Chris Deerin. (@chrisdeerin)
* Mark Patinkin corrects “a failure of journalism” and tells readers about Clayton Lockett‘s victim. “I don’t understand why journalism has given him a thousand times more sympathy than the innocent girl he tortured and murdered,” says the columnist. (providencejournal.com)
* ABC News headquarters is now called The Barbara Walters Building. (mediabistro.com)
* Tom Shales takes another shot at “know-nothing editors.” (jacklimpert.com)
* For its sinking ferry coverage, Fox News “used footage of random sad Asians instead of going to Korea” to get mourning shots. (washingtonpost.com)
* Ex-NBC News boss Steve Capus is named “CBS Evening News” executive producer. (hollywoodreporter.com)
* New York Times standards editor: Enough with “deep-pocketed”! (nytimes.com)
* The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and other stories that Steve Brill would like to see covered. (cjr.org)
* Newspaper columnists honor Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Michael Paul Williams, who “has built a reputation for never being afraid to take sides on hot-button issues.” (columnists.com)buzz
* Another “BuzzFeed’s Running Out of Lists” segment from Conan O’Brien. (teamcoco.com)
* Report: Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are getting a million-plus each to run Bloomberg Politics. (politico.com) | (usatoday.com) | (salon.com)
* In JOBS: An educational nonprofit is looking for a researcher. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Re Mark Leibovich‘s media ethics panel and SF Chronicle managing editor’s selfie. (calbuzz.com)
* Larry King: “I am glad I am not at CNN now with this missing plane.” Coverage of it, he says, is “absurd.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* Show up at a press conference and get $5,000! (ajc.com)

Washington Post staffers saw this memo when they got to work today:

The cafeteria will be temporarily closed due to deficiencies found during a routine inspection by the DC Department of Health that occurred yesterday.

The noted deficiencies were centered around general cleaning and maintenance issues in the rear area of the kitchen. These issues included trash disposal, one inoperable sink faucet, evidence of some mice activity, and some other minor maintenance issues.

We are working with the cafeteria operator, Mr. Ali, to ensure that all noted violations are properly and completely addressed as soon as possible. The area will be re-inspected later this week and we will provide an update as needed.

This closure does not impact the self-serve market near the cafeteria; that is still open and fully functional.

If additional information is required, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jeff Cox
The Washington Post
Director, Administration and Operating Services