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An unjust dismissal

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jr/shotglass, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I worked for a paper that was struggling, and was eventually sold. The owner/publisher sacrificed a ton when he gave up a big ad buy from a big-time gun dealer. It hurt the paper's bottom line, but in an area that was (and is still) struggling with violence he felt it was the right thing to do. Once the paper was sold, the new owners resumed selling ad space to the gun shop.
    I don't know how much of a difference it made, but it helped me understand that the editorial page actually walked the walk, and didn't just talk the talk about doing the right thing.
  3. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Usually that kind of BS happens when an advertiser bitches about something. This didn't even get to that point.

    The fired editor-in-chief seems to be handling things in a much more high-class manner than I would. Best wishes to her.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I think it also speaks to a broader issue about how imperiled newspapers are. You see fawning coverage of new run of the mill businesses opening, various "no-fly zones" when it comes to coverage as well as coverage of pet events of significant advertisers. Much easier to run the free mug shots from the county jail. They don't advertise, they don't subscribe and it doesn't cost anything.
  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    This happens because newspapers aren't really newspapers anymore.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the publisher was mad that the editor was showing the staff an editorial that the publisher spiked.

    Editor should have known it could go bad, but doesn't deserve a firing. You've got to have a thicker skin to be a publisher.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Well, we have one side of the story. Why do I think there may be more to it:

    McLaughlin described what happened next: That Tuesday evening, the publisher told her she had killed the editorial, with little explanation.

    On Wednesday, the six staff writers submitted a letter to Concannon, asking her to reconsider. She refused to read it.

    The next day, McLaughlin walked into the publisher's office, asking for an explanation, but Concannon said she didn't owe her one.

    The following Monday morning, Concannon told McLaughlin she was fired and ordered her to surrender her keys before being escorted out of the building. She was allowed to return to the newsroom that evening to empty her desk.

    McLaughlin's termination letter stated that she was fired for insubordination — for doing what she always does, which is to share her editorial with staff writers. The publisher's explanation doesn't pass the straight-face test, which may be why Concannon has refused multiple requests for interviews.

    It all depends on her interactions with the six staffers and with the published after she first sent the email.

    If she encouraged the staffers to to write the letter asking her to reconsider, then that could be defined as insubordination.

    We also don't know what she said directly to the publisher.
  8. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    This is exactly right. It's also insubordination, and definitely a fire-worthy offense.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Not so much outraged as amused by a publisher.owner's daughter who can't find a way to compromise or even hand down a decision without understanding that, sometimes, people get mad about it.

    In the long run, the publisher looks like a reactive, weak-willed leader.
    Ace likes this.
  10. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    She could have even murdered someone. We just don't know the whole story.

    If there is a different side, and the publisher wants to get that side out there, she should do so. But:

    Concannon has refused multiple requests for interviews

    We can speculate all day about what McLaughlin did or didn't do leading up to her being fired, but right now all we have to go on is what she said in her interview with Schultz. And those of us who have worked in newspapers can probably relate to dealing with a heavy-handed publisher with an axe to grind or an interest to conflict. So the story rings true.

    Until presented with a different explanation from the publisher, I'm not going to just assume McLaughlin was up to something else.
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Newspapers are the most unique work places ever. No other workers have to deal with bosses/owners/daughters of owners who are heavy handed, have an axe to grind, or an interest to conflict.

    The rest of us are so lucky.

    And, fired newspaper editors would never tell the story of their dismissal for insubordination in a way that was favorable to them. Why, they're trained! Even if it made them look bad, they would be sure to include all the facts.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  12. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Wow, that response was so thick with sarcasm and snark I practically had to swim through it. Well done.
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