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Indy Star fires black editorial writer

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by playthrough, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    This came up in the Canzano blog/press box thread, but I felt it could maybe be a separate topic. Black editorial writer at the Indianapolis Star gets fired for writing a blog entry with a racially offensive comment:



    What made me mad about this as I read the story this morning is that the mea culpa from the Star failed to include what the guy actually wrote. Never knew what it was until I saw the second link. Don't misunderstand, I'm not condoning the words or the Star's personnel decision. Far from it. They did what they felt they had to do, though this guy's job may been saved if there was some editing and/or pre-screening of blog entries (another worthwhile discussion topic we've had here). But I have a serious problem with a story going on and on about an offensive comment and explaining how the blog entry was purged while dancing around the comment itself. I feel it's insulting to readers. The Star was clearly embarrassed to have these words under its name, but that public apology (on its metro front) is not thorough to me unless the insensitive comments are, yeah, reprinted and put into context. I know many papers' correction policies include not repeating what the error was in a correction, but this felt different to me. I will give them credit for allowing the terminated employee to offer his apology in the story.

    Your thoughts?
  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Saw this the other day.

    So blogs under a newspaper banner are subject to the same editorial standards as the paper itself.

    Unless they aren't.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I'd have fired him for being incomprehensible to 90 percent of his readers to start with.
  4. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    This Biddle guy's name rings a bell, but I'm not sure why. Does he have a history of some sort?
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Just as a practical matter, I would not trust any newspaper's management when they say they want blogs to be freewheeling and controversial and different from the newsprint product. Because you know when people in the community get pissed -- legitimately or not -- over an opinion, chances are they will cave. This guy crossed the line, but that's what real blogs do -- they really do not seem to care if they offend large numbers of people and that's why people read them. Newspapers have these kinds of pseudo-blogs. It's lame and stupid. Not saying we should be willing to offend people for no good reason, I don't think we should. But we ought to just abandon the whole blog thing because we can't compete on that turf, just like the bloggers can't compete on newspapers' turf.
  6. Wingnut black man par excellence.
    The 411, as the kids say:

  7. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Oh, you mean the same link that's in the first post on this thread? :D
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Worth noting as well that two Cleveland Plain Dealer bloggers resigned over being told not to blog on a campaign they had contributed to.
    The bloggers were not newspaper employees, but worked for a speciality political blog at the paper and were told to offer independent viewpoints. They were also told that they were not held to the same standards as the actual employee blogs.
    Until they pissed off the Republican candidate and he told the paper no access unless they were told to stop. So they were told to stop and they resigned saying it was a matter of principle. You can't tell people to be independent and when they are, tell them to stop.
  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Except it happens all the time.

    "Be edgy and controversial ... oops, you went over the line."

    I'm still puzzled, thoug., how a black person can write a comment that's perceived as regarded as racialy insensitive to blacks. Um, he is black.
  10. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    So I can't offend other white people by calling them white trash or inbred, because heck...I'm white?
  11. THANK YOU.
  12. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    The headline on this post implies he was fired for being black.
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