Thursday, October 05, 2006

Shame On You, Jim Wooten

In his blog today, AJC Associate Editorial Page Editor Jim Wooten chose to repeat a recent right-wing meme regarding the Mark Foley scandal:

But editors at The Miami Herald and The St. Petersburg Times apparently had the same e-mails others did last year and thought them not worth pursuing.

100% wrong.

The Executive Editor of the St. Petersburg Times has already responded to these allegations and you could read his column here.

Here are the facts:

  • The St. Pete Times admits that it received the emails last November.
  • The Times DID follow up on the story and interviewed the page.
  • The page's parents apparently would not go on the record
  • The Times could not find additional sources on the story
  • With such a lack of substantiation the Times editors decided publishing such a salacious story did meet their journalistic standards.

Opinions, even of a hyperbolic nature, are to be expected in the editorial pages. Blatant falsehoods are not. Unlike some in the new media, traditional media sources such as print still exercise editorial filters and restraint. The St. Pete Times appropriately chose to exercise restraint. Something as a career newpaperman Jim Wooten should understand.

I am following up with an email to AJC Public Editor Angela Tuck since I for one want to understand how something like this would happen and will there be consequences.

No comments: