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Baltimore Sun Gives Control of Editorials to Newsroom

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by heyabbott, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Published: December 24, 2007

    The Baltimore Sun is taking the unusual step of placing responsibility for its opinion pages with its top news editor.

    Newspapers usually try to keep a firm wall between the news-gathering operation and the editorial side, to make sure that the lines do not get blurred between the pages of objective journalism and the pages that explicitly voice opinions. But The Baltimore Sun is changing its system and has dismissed its editorial page editor.

    Dianne Donovan, 59, who has headed the newspaper’s editorial board for almost six years, said she was let go during the second week of December. Rather than have an editorial page editor chosen by the publisher, the paper plans to have an opinion editor selected by Tim Franklin, editor of The Sun.
    At most major American newspapers, the chief of the editorial page is hired by the publisher. Some papers have their editorial pages under the control of the top editor of the news pages, including the Tribune Company’s flagship paper, The Chicago Tribune.

    With that arrangement, Ms. Donovan said, “you have to be more vigilant about the integrity of the news pages,” to avoid the perception — or even the reality — of the paper’s stated positions influencing its coverage. But, she added, either system can work well.

    Tribune has allowed diverse editorial stances among its newspapers. For example, The Sun opposed the Iraq war before it began, while The Tribune supported it.

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