Wes Tripp resigned from The University of Tennessee Daily Beacon after being punished for violating the student newspaper’s social media policy by publicly criticizing its state Senate endorsement and amendment position.
I disagree with the interpretation that my comments were negative. I disagreed with the column’s content in a respectful manner, apparently however as a staff member if I disagree about something the Beacon publishes I’m supposed to keep my mouth shut. No one should ever fear or be kept from expressing their opinions in a respectful manner.
As a result, I was suspended from all social media activity for the Beacon for the remainder of the semester. My byline would no longer include my twitter handle and I had to remove any mention of The Daily Beacon from my Facebook or Twitter bios. I was not suspended from writing for the Beacon.
Tripp (left) says he decided to resign “because I will not work for a public organization that denies my First Amendment right to publicly express my opinions.” He writes in an email that the news editor told him “it really hurts her to see me ‘start up a rallying call to denounce [the Beacon] and tarnish its name'” He adds that editors “wanted professional courtesy, aka me keeping my mouth shut.”
Editor-in-chief Claire Dodson confirms Tripp “didn’t follow social media policy, which states that you can’t say negative things about the Daily Beacon online.” She says the policy, drafted earlier this year, was modeled after social media guidelines used by Reuters, the Washington Post and other news organizations.
Tripp, she says, violated the policy once before – “he tweeted potentially libelous things” – and was reprimanded.
Update — Tripp tells Romenesko readers: “The tweet that Claire mentions was one in which I referred to Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston as a rapist.
“As an employee of The Daily Beacon, I came to realize that my social media presence reflects back on the Beacon and to an extent the University. I recognized that I needed to be careful from that point on about what I posted on Twitter or Facebook.
“However, I still disagree that my most recent actions were a violation of the social media policy.”
The newspaper’s social media policy is after the jump. Read More
I recently got this email from a frustrated Cleveland Plain Dealer staffer:
“It is so obvious to those of us who work here the huge difference between the PD and NEOMG [Northeast Ohio Media Group]…The FitzGerald [campaign] press release [about the editorial board’s endorsement interviews video being pulled] reads like we – the PD – did the interviews, shot the interviews and then pulled the videos. It sucks because it was all NEOMG. I bet [NEOMG content chief] Chris Quinn is loving all of this because it makes the PD look bad, when I can almost bet that [Gov. John] Kasich’s camp got to Quinn and demanded it be pulled.”
Has the Plain Dealer brand been damaged by Quinn because of his actions, then silence on the video-removal issue? I asked Plain Dealer Newspaper Guild unit chair Wendy McManamon. She replied:
Many of us are concerned that reporters at NEOMG are not only damaging our brand, and our standards, as Plain Dealer journalists, but they’re also taking advantage of the public’s confusion. Sources and readers don’t know what an NEOMG is, so they have been heard saying they’re with the Plain Dealer or represent the “new” Plain Dealer; they allow others to refer to them as PD journalists, especially sportswriters who appear on TV and radio.
McManamon adds that it’s “interesting” that Plain Dealer/NEOMG reader representative Ted Diadiun won’t answer questions – including Jay Rosen‘s – about the Kasich-FitzGerald interview video being pulled. “That’s what he’s supposed to do,” she writes in an email, “but since 2013 he merely has been Chris Quinn’s apologist. He only represents NEOMG, not The Plain Dealer. I wish I had stock in Kool-Aid.”
I asked Diadiun about McManamon’s comments and his silence on the video controversy. He replied:
I was sorry to read Wendy’s remarks. I always considered her a friend and a dedicated journalist, but a lot of things have changed since the reorganization of the news operation a bit more than a year ago, resulting in emotions not unlike what happens in the wake of a divisive strike.
In any case, I’m not going to attack her in response. She is right that I’ve been spending more time on Website issues in the last year, often more in an explanatory role than as a critic. As for the rest of what she said, I will let my work over almost 10 years of being the newspaper’s – and the website’s – reader representative stand for whatever people think of my integrity and credibility.
I have not written about this or given out quotes because I felt I was in an untenable position and could do nothing to help the situation. Stay tuned, however, if you continue to be interested in this issue.
Oh, we will!
* Quinn needs to explain why the campaign interview video disappeared (cjr.org)
* Jay Rosen: “Quinn’s the man and he ain’t talking” (pressthink.org)
* Earlier: Quinn threatens a website that posted the video he took down (jimromenesko.com)
Portland Press Herald columnist to Maine’s governor:
— Bill Nemitz (@BillNemitz) November 4, 2014
* Gov. Paul LePage says Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz will have to be put on suicide watch because the Maine governor will win his re-election bid. (AP via sunjournal.com) | Earlier: LePage tells a flight simulator to blow up the Press Herald building. (jimromenesko.com)
* Tech reporter: “I always find it really off-putting when I get emails [from PR people] and they know all kinds of things about me they got on my Instagram account.” (digiday.com)
* For their new publication, Jill Abramson and Steve Brill will be using “a combination of very well-known established writers and rising stars, who we both have a pretty good habit of discovering.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* A DNAInfo Chicago reporter is kicked out of a school-closing meeting. “Several parents yelled that they wanted the reporter to stay, and asked church officials why they were hiding from the press.” (dnainfo.com)
* The Gun Crisis Reporting Project in Philadelphia scales back. (guncrisis.org)
* How news organizations cover themselves. (Bloomberg doesn’t.) (ajr.org)
* Read this before Instagramming your ballot. (propublica.org)
* NPR warns about election day tweeting: “No cheering in the press box.” (npr.org)
* Campaign ad wrap prompts Cleveland Scene to review its policy. (cjr.org)
* Election night drinking game suggestions: (time.com)
* Time Inc. beats Wall Street’s earnings forecasts. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Britt McHenry defends her controversial Redskins report: “At ESPN, we don’t just go on the air without properly vetting our material.” (si.com)
* Typewriter-lover Tom Hanks is coming out with a book with stories “that might have been written on typewriters.” (wsj.com)
* Former New York Times reporter Jonathan Hicks is dead at 58. (nytimes.com)
* Jerry Seinfeld‘s interviewing skills examined. (salon.com)
* TV critic James Poniewozik loves kids cooking show “MasterChef Jr.” (time.com)
* “The masthead of a Canadian magazine rarely triggers moral outrage.” (thestar.com)
* Scrolling through old Facebook posts “might be embarrassing, but it is possible to learn from it.” (dailynorthwestern.com)
* Kate Moss contributed to British Vogue’s December issue. (wwd.com)
* Paul Carr‘s snarky Gawker class action suit update: (pando.com) | Gawker fiction. (theralphretort.com)