Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Miami Herald gets some industry recognition for censorship

I'm sure if you asked anyone in charge at the Miami Herald if the paper favors censorship, the answer would be unanimous: "Absolutely not!"

And if you asked those same people if the Herald practices censorship, you'd get the same answer.

But what they say and what they do at the paper are two different matters.

Last night I posted a brief item on the fact that the Herald had apparently scrubbed some information about a new round of staff furloughs at the paper from a larger story posted on its website about the sale of land the Herald owns.

But as Jim Romenesko, who blogs about newspapers and the media for put it in an email to me, "Somebody there needs to learn about cached stories [on Google.]

Today, Romenesko shared the Herald's editorial trickery with a national audience of journalists in a post titled "Miami Herald decides it doesn’t want readers knowing about staff furloughs."


  1. "Someone over there needs to learn about cached stories." That's great. Tell me another one. If hidden cameras could be put up and the world (or whoever really cares anymore) could watch the circus that goes on at the MH newsroom, I promise you Bill, you wouldn't be able to sleep for a week. You'd be speechless. There are a handful of people left, and I'm being generous, who know anything about the web. Of course there are still lots of the dinosaurs still roaming around. They've gotten smart phones, maybe tweet a little, post on their little blogs, and film silly videos that no one watches..and to them, this is progress. They spend half the time patting each other on the back, while the rest of us are waiting to get cut. In the last month, three writers have jumped ship, and I'm only guessing that this is the only reason that there weren't lay offs this time around. "Only" furloughs. Gee. We're so lucky. I know several people that are already looking for other jobs because everyone knows that there will be another round of furloughs before the end of the year. My W-2 is pinned on the fridge and I've looked at it a dozen times since it arrived in the mail. I have to force myself to go to work. It's in the air. It's just not worth it anymore.

  2. Who were the three writers who recently left?

  3. Ronnie Greene and Beth Reinhard are two. The other name escapes me right now.

  4. In JOU 101, we learned that editors are 'gate-keepers,' that not everything that a reporter writes gets put into the paper, that the job of the paper is to inform and elucidate, but not necessarily print all the minutia pertaining to a story. The idea is that a newspaper story should convey the sense of the story, but not report that the perp shat in the victim's pool, that the stolen Nissan has a manual transmission, that the horse butchered in the field was an Appaloosa.

    I don't think the furloughs have a great deal to do with the land sale story. If the larger story (tough times, selling land, laying off people, forced furloughs) was the focus -- then, yes. But the basic land sale story -- not so much.

    Writers and editors have a history of disagreements, and any writer worth his salt will complain about the material left out of the published story -- whether that story is 'published' on paper or on-line. And the concept of editing, refining, cleaning up a story after publication is as old as publishing.

    Referring back to JOU 101, check Tornillo v. Miami Herald, which confirmed that the freedom of the press rests with the owners of the press. That says there is nothing wrong with "editorial trickery" if it accurately reflects the truth of the story.

  5. Jen Lebovich and Nirvi Shah have both left in the last few weeks. I believe Robert Samuels is on his way out the door. The rumor is that the Washington Post hired him for their education beat.


Feel free to comment on anything you read here.

All comments must first be approved. Spam and spam links will not be tolerated or approved.