Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stevens Point | Firing after secret taping allegation

Wisconsin's Stevens Point Journal has dismissed a reporter accused of trying to secretly record a closed session of Portage County's Human Resources and Finance Committee meeting March 1.

General Manager and Executive Editor Michael Beck said the Journal conducted its own investigation, "which resulted in the termination of the reporter's employment with the company,'' the paper said in a story.

Beck told the paper that news staff is expected to review Gannett's Principles of Ethical Conduct annually.


  1. Gannett still HAS the Principles of Ethical Conduct? I thought that was just another one of their passing fads that get forgotten about in 6 months.

    Either way, I found this part of the principles to be pretty interesting:

    "Outside Interests: Directors, officers and employees will not have any outside interest, investment or business relationship that dilutes their loyalty to the Company or dedication to the principle of a free and impartial press. Membership on a board of directors of a company unaffiliated with Gannett might result in a conflict of interest and should be discussed in advance with the chief executive officer."

    And yet, how often do we hear of Gannett's brass or a paper's upper management having conflicts of interest, and yet nothing is done? Heck, the paper I worked for had a major fund drive every year with the United Way. Stories were placed on the front page regardless of news value and employees were constantly pressured to donate. How was that not a conflict of interest?

    But heaven forbid if a lowly worker bee does something wrong. Then it's wave the principles around!

    Utter hypocrisy. Which is what we've learned to expect from this company.

  2. Good grief. We should be rewarding aggressive reporting, not punishing it. I would have put her on probation and left it at that.

  3. Gannett's Principles of Ethical Conduct only applies to reporters.

  4. Check out the Web site. The story lacks details, but it appears that the reporter may have tried to plant a recorder in what was a closed meeting room.

    Yeah, I've got a problem with that, too. If that's the case.

    Anyone know the particulars?

  5. You have to the so called journalists. Here. They will fall on their collective swords if they get close to an advertiser but allegedly planting a recorder in a closed meeting........"aggressive journalism"

  6. Looks like a lawyer wrote that story. No one wanted to name names.


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