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Reporter canned over (lack of) byline

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    "No comment could be reached."

    I would not want my byline on that muck-raking bullshit or that poor writing. I hope for the best for the reporter.
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    And another update (this story keeps getting better). The staff wrote a letter to the publisher and editor seeking the reporter's reinstatement:

  3. joe king

    joe king Active Member

    If that is the case, the writer probably should be disciplined, assuming the editor is his boss. If there is a dispute over what is or isn't newsworthy, those higher up the food chain make that decision, not the reporter. They tell you to write about the guy not standing, you write about the guy not standing. And you sure as hell don't bitch about it when they add it to your story if they told you to write it and you didn't (although in fairness, the addition should have merely noted that the alderman didn't stand for ther pledge, not that "some in the audience were upset" when the person who wrote that probably wasn't there and didn't know that).

    For what it's worth, yes, I think the alderman deciding not to stand is newsworthy, especially if one of the other aldermen had complained about it at a previous meeting and was ticked about it.
  4. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    This is the angle and the story. The seems like the reporter wasn't actually fired over refusing to have a byline on the story per se. He was fired because he didn't do the story. That decision showed poor news judgment on the reporter's part, as well as a lack of courage/ability to confront a potentially controversial story. Perhaps those were the real reasons he was fired.

    That said, the editing was bad and the stuff that was edited in was poorly written, and also cried out for more of a story once it was inserted.

    For what it's worth, as a reader, I would be very interested in this issue/debate/internal upset, from both sides, after which you could also include reactions of "some in the audience."
  5. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    You can't fire someone on the spot for being bad at his job. And I have to think his colleagues would not have backed him up if he sucked.
  6. joe king

    joe king Active Member

    You can if his boss told him to write a particular story and he refused to write that story.
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    He didn't refuse to write the story. He refused to have his name attached to it. And he would win a lawsuit pretty easily, I'd guess, even in a right-to-work state.
  8. joe king

    joe king Active Member

    He didn't write the story his boss told him to write.
  9. The fact the city editor and two other reporters are going to bat for this guy by resigning tells me he prolly did right.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    There really are two stories here: The budget one and the flag flap.

    And from what I'm guessing, the meeting happened at night, and the reporter used his judgement that the budget story was a bigger story. Which I would agree with. Maybe there wasn't enough time that night to write the flag flap story.

    Seeing the fact that the board member had done this before, the boss and the reporter should have communicated better on what would happen if the board guy did it again. The other staffers even said that it is a worthy story.

    But if there was such a disagreement, the boss has the right to put the info in the story. And should have understood that the reporter didn't want his name on it. Clearly, the boss overreacted. He may win the battle, but now he's lost the respect of his newsroom.
  11. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    How this is worthy firing the reporter over is puzzling to me. Also puzzling is this part:
    So if the editor was so eager to write an editorial about the alderman, what's it matter if the topic had been mentioned in a news story before or not? If you feel strongly, just write about it yourself. Ask your reporter if the alderman indeed refused to stand. If the answer is yes, incorporate that into the editorial. If the reporter gives confirmation this wasn't the first time, include that as well. I'm not understanding why that had to be included in a news story (written by a reporter who didn't feel it was worth writing about, which he should be free to do) before an editorial can be written by an editor who does feel it was worth writing about.
  12. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    That's what I can't get past, either.

    You're assigned a story. You do a story. If you don't do the story, there are consequences.

    The boss is not always wrong.
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