Friday, August 26, 2016

Newspaper Wars: Sun-Sentinel editor/publisher kills a story...and a Miami Beach pol continues his strange - very strange - war of words against the Miami Herald

Howard Saltz
Politico's Marc Caputo has caught the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel - specifically the Sun Sentinel's editor and publisher Howard Saltz - killing a story that would be front page news in any other city. This after the paper posted the story on its website, and then inexplicably removed it on Wednesday.



From Caputo's story:
The South Florida Sun Sentinel killed a news story on its website about Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian admitting on tape that he sought developer favors in return for his vote — a move by the newspaper’s leadership that appears to be part of a pattern of censoring controversial stories, according to multiple sources inside and outside the Fort Lauderdale newsroom.
Political insiders and newsroom staffers say the decision to kill the reporting was made by editor and publisher Howard Saltz, who did not return a POLITICO Florida email for comment Thursday.

“Saltz kills stories in the classic way: He nitpicks them to death,” said one source familiar with the newsroom discussions of the story. “So here he was saying, ‘oh, this is just an allegation. We don’t have all the facts. It’s not responsible to put this out there. We don’t have comment from Julian.’ And then what happens? They stop Susannah from covering the meeting the next day and getting comment from Julian.”

In 2012, a year after he became editor of the Sun Sentinel, Miami New Times profiled Saltz, noting that he was "essentially destitute" prior to being named editor in July 2011.
After losing four properties to lenders and then filing for bankruptcy himself just three months after his hiring, Saltz had $90 in cash to his name and two overdrawn checking accounts. Eventually, he would walk away from at least $3 million in debts, though his wife's bankruptcy filing suggests the number could be closer to $4 million.

Read Caputo's complete story on Politico by clicking here.


Meanwhile, in other media news south of the Broward County line, Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola continues his futile, one-man battle to reshape the Miami Herald's news agenda.

Yesterday on Facebook, Arriola accused the Herald of ignoring a story that contained "good/positive news" about Miami.

Click image to enlarge.

This morning on Facebook, Arriola updated his "Miami Herald hates good news" rant against the paper by noting that the paper does indeed publish good news, but it hides it "in the back of the paper."

Click image to enlarge.

Oddly, Arriola's latest tirade against - what he once called "Miami's official newspaper" - comes less than a week after "Miami's official newspaper" posted a glowing profile of him on its website.


Arriola responds with this comment on my Facebook page:
It's simple Bill - I'm very bullish on Miami. We are an amazingly resilient community. It was just 24 years ago that Hurricane Andrew devastated our community. Most cities never bounce back from that kind of calamity. Hurricane Andrew followed a really rough 1980s here in Miami - race riots, the Mariel Boatlift, the Drug Wars, etc... yet Miami bounces back each time and comes back stronger than ever.

I don't like it when our hometown newspaper flashes the bad on the front page (sorry I still read the paper edition) but buries the good stuff in the back. Generally speaking, the Miami Herald does a great job - their work on the Panama Papers was Pulitzer Prize worthy - but they tend highlight negative news over positive news. Hence, my frustration. If there's going to be a rainy couple of days, it makes front page (you've seen me mention this before), but if it's going to be sunny, it doesn't get mentioned (at least not on the front page).

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