Saturday, May 19, 2012

Reporter Fires At Coach in Print, Gets Fired

Like every single other journalist on the planet, I get frustrated by people, who, for whatever reason, don't give information I ask for.

I'm not talking about politicians who won't described their involvement in the latest scandal du jour. Of course they're not going to tell you anything.

I'm talking about people who won't give out the most benign, positive information, like who won the Community Service Award, or how the school valedictorian got accepted into Harvard. They're just so afraid, or so lazy, or so passive aggressive, they can't bring themselves to do their job.

Which is why I have a little sympathy for a reporter at the Rayne Independent in Louisiana, who got frustrated by a coach who didn't offer data on a local stellar high school softball pitcher.

But still, us journalists have to be professional (don't laugh!) so it's probably a good idea to vent in private, and not for the world to see.

However, as you can see in the photo, which came from JimRomenesko,com, our star reporter from Louisiana got it into print. He says he was just venting, meant to erase it before it was printed, and forgot.

Which is why we never, ever put jokes into stories we're working on. Disaster always seems to ensue when that happens.

Romenesko says the reporter, Kade Seibold, was fired, but is asking for his job back. Romensko also correctly says that maybe a copy editor or somebody at the paper should have caught this before it went to press.

Says the Rayne Independent's General Manager, according to Romenesko:

"He just tacked it on to the end of the story and meant to change it after getting the stats. He forgot about it and turned in the story.”
The general manager says two other Independent staffers looked at the “10 or 12 inch story” before it went to press, but didn’t notice the “bullshit and laziness” line.
“One said, ‘I’m not really interested in sports and didn’t read the whole thing.” 

Isn't reading the whole story, no matter how uninteresting, the copy editor's JOB?

Um, sounds like the copy editor also had a case of "bullshit and laziness."

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