Friday, March 02, 2012

Is incompetent 'leadership' killing what's left of the Miami Herald?

Miami Herald Breaking News
Editor Pat Andrews
Pat Andrews, according to the Miami Herald's website, is the paper's Breaking News Editor.

According to another website, "Andrews oversees reporters covering breaking news and enterprise and editors responsible for local content that includes coverage of the police beat, schools and courts."

Those are Andrews' official duties.

Unofficially, it appears Andrews has been tasked to oversee the complete and total destruction of what's left of the Herald.

The Herald - under Andrews' "leadership" - was a day and a half late on the story of two bicyclists who were struck by a hit and run driver on the Rickenbacker Causeway last Feb 15.

And, under Andrews' "leadership," the paper completely ignored the story of former Assistant Miami fire Chief Veldora Arthur, who was paid "more than $120,000 to stay home after she’d been federally indicted on mortgage fraud charges."

Yesterday, we learned of another of Andrews' duties.

In addition to occasionally (or not) overseeing  breaking news coverage, Andrews has taken on the job as the Herald's "Chief Apologist for Shoddy News Reporting."

Commenting on a Herald story about a photographer arrested covering Occupy Miami, Andrews admitted her paper didn't bother to check on the outcome of the photographer's previous arrests mentioned in the story.

A sidebar to the story said the outcome of the cases "are unknown." This despite the fact that arrest records are available to anyone who has a computer and a minute or two to find them on the website of the Clerk of the Court.

Andrews - in a jaw-dropping admission - told the Poynter Institute's Andrew Beaujon, “We should have said the Miami Herald doesn’t know the outcome of those [arrests.] We had not checked the records to know the outcome of those cases.”

The Miami Herald is scheduled to move into its new building by May 2013. That is, unless Andrews - and incompetent people like her - completely destroy what's left of a once-proud institution.


  1. You left out the most damning, the most discouraging, part of the Poynter piece:

    "Andrews says the mistake is a consequence of newsroom economics. 'This, unfortunately, is happening to our industry, especially with a newsathering organization like us.' When it comes to story like Miller’s, Andrews says, 'We gotta hit it and move on.' ”

    Translation: We'll put interns on almost any story. We'll publish whatever claptrap they write, generally unedited. We'll hold them to no professional standard, we'll not bother to teach them much of anything, and we'll disregard the work of generations of our predecessors who devoted themselves to making The Miami Herald a respected, sometimes revered, source of news. And, when we screw up, we won't have the courage, the self-respect, the professional confidence, to just say so.

    After all, what can you expect? This, unfortunately, is happening to our industry, especially with a newsathering organization like us. We have practically no real reporters left and the only managers still here are those who weren't good enough to get jobs elsewhere.

  2. I've worked directly with Pat and she is very, very competent. This was an honest mistake on the part of the reporter who, by the way, is not an intern.


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