Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Miami Herald 'misleading' its readers?

Jim Savage

Is The Herald "misleading" its readers?

That's what one former Miami Herald editor says about the paper's recent obfuscation of the facts surrounding the complaint lodged against Herald Guantanamo reporter Carol Rosenberg by a navy commander.

Broward-Palm Beach New Times blogger Bob Norman reports that former Herald investigations editor Jim Savage has posted a scathing broadside regarding the paper's lack of a full accounting on the Rosenberg story on a Herald alumni email chain:
I thought it was appalling that The Herald's brief story headlined "Reporter Accused of Sexual Harassment" did not even attempt to provide a response from Carol Rosenberg. And worse, it never described the accusations, which, in my opinion, involve language issues, not sexual harassment.

A number of women have been accused in the past of sexual harassment, using their positions to seek sexual favors from fellow workers, men and women.

For both men and women, sexual harassment is a very serious allegation which can destroy careers.

I fear that Herald editors panicked when they learned that the Navy's letter of complaint against Carol had been released to other media. The resulting Herald story, in my humble opinion, qualifies as the single most misleading, inaccurate and damaging story published in recent years.
(Emphasis mine.)
This is not the first time the Herald has found itself in an ethical quagmire and it's not the first time Savage has criticized his former employer.

Four years ago Savage was one of over 500 journalists who spoke out against the Herald for the firing of columnist Jim DeFede.
Jim Savage, the Herald's retired investigations editor who supervised Fiedler's Gary Hart coverage, said DeFede's conduct has to be weighed against a lack of criminal intent.

Like some others, Savage saw the firing as a rash decision in a moment of crisis.

"I would not have made such a momentous decision when they were literally cleaning up the blood from the lobby floor," Savage said.
Perhaps what the Herald needs now - more than ever - are a few more editors like Savage, and few less like current editor Anders Gyllenhaal.

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