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Posts Tagged ‘Carleton Bryant’

TWT Tries to Pave New Road: Three More Layoffs Hit With New Hires on the Horizon

WashingtonTimesFeb92006.jpg

Out with the old. In with the new.

So goes the slow but steady procession of changes happening at TWT since Sam Dealey came aboard as editor in February.

Not surprisingly, some aren’t pleased.

Three more reporters are being laid off this week – a longtime religion writer, Julia Duin (pronounced Deen), a foreign correspondent and a state department reporter will all have their positions eliminated before the week is out. In coming weeks and months, the newspaper will add reporters in the core news area of politics, FishbowlDC has learned.

To be sure, Dealey has faced an uphill battle that hasn’t always endeared him to staff. Over the past several months, some reporters have questioned his style and intentions. They watched as publisher, Jonathan Slevin, was ousted after clashing with Dealey.

On Wednesday publications such as WaPo‘s Story Lab and Mediaite provided accounts of Duin’s layoff – she is a victim of TWT , both publications reported. End of story.

But there is more to it.
FishbowlDC spoke with Duin by phone Wednesday. The conversation was not smooth, moving in fits and starts of Duin claiming to go on and off the record, of claiming to have no warning signs of her layoff. When questioned about the events leading up to her layoff, she expressed discomfort with the interview and repeatedly wanted to know if FishbowlDC would be talking with Dealey. The answer was always yes, I would seek comment from him just as I sought comment from her.

Dealey wrote to FishbowlDC on Wednesday: “The Times is moving forward in a new direction with new priorities. In some instances that necessitates position eliminations, of which Ms. Duin’s was one. We thank Ms. Duin for her years of service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Duin says she didn’t see the layoff coming, but there were signs. Even she begrudgingly admits this to FishbowlDC and on her blog (Julia’s blog). Duin writes: “I knew things were going south when my articles were either cut in half, tossed out of the print edition or placed in the back of the paper.” She claims she was let go because of a WaPo story by Ian Shapira on May 1 in which she said there were snakes in the newsroom and otherwise disparaged management.

An excerpt from Shapira’s May 1 story:
The finances are so tight that the newspaper hasn’t paid some of its bills or tended to basic maintenance issues — such as hiring an exterminator to deal with mice and snakes sneaking into the building on New York Avenue in Northeast.

“The feeling everyone feels is that it’s a totally rudderless ship,” said Julia Duin, the paper’s longtime religion reporter. “Nobody knows who’s running it. Is it the board of directors? We don’t know. There was a three-foot-long black snake in the main conference room the other day. We have snakes in the newsroom — the real live variety, at least. One of the security people gallantly removed it.”

Continued after the jump.

> Update: Duin had seven front page stories in April, not three as was previously reported.

Read more

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TWT Layoffs Hitting Now

Breaking: The TWT purge has officially begun. A source tells FishbowlDC that Managing Editor-Print David Jones, Dep. Managing Editor-News Geoff Etnyre and writer Barbara Slavin are among the folks who have already received layoff notice. The rest of the staff will receive letters at 3.30 pm to learn if they will have jobs beyond tomorrow. So far, we’ve only heard that Chris Dolan and Carleton Bryant have been retained.

Update: Add Kara Rowland to the “safe” list but we hear that Liz Glover and Stephanie Green were sacrificed.

We’ll continue to update as we learn more.

Update: Jill Badanes, TWT’s online anchor who writes, presents, and edits the daily “Morning Briefing” video also got the pink slip today.

Update: The entire TWT photo department all lost their jobs save for Joe Eddins, an editor and shooter, and another department desk editor.

Update: The entire sports section of the newspaper is no longer being produced.

From the Office of Disciplinary Action at TWT High

Principal Solomon put the smack down at TWT High today re: accuracy and fairness. From the looks of the memo obtained by FishbowlDC, the rowdy kids in the newsroom were in need of a little disciplinary action.

Strike 1) To the chalkboard! “I will report accurately and fairly. I will report accurately and fairly. I will report accurately and fairly…”

Strike 2) Principal’s Office

Strike 3) In-school Suspension

From: John Solomon
To: twtnews
Sent: Mon, 18 May 2009 10:31:00 -0400
Subject: Accuracy and Fairness

Folks:

Accuracy, precision, fairness and balance are our essential
coins of credibility in the marketplace. As we expand our product line and our workload, we cannot allow these pillars of journalism to be compromised by shortcuts, sloppiness or deadlines. To ensure we all live up to the promise, I am instituting the following reforms effective immediately:

1) Any reporter or editor who makes an error in a story that requires a published correction must submit a letter to the Executive Editor and Managing Editor explaining the mistake and what corrective actions were taken. These letters will be placed in your permanent personnel file.

2) Any reporters or editors who submit stories or content without fair comment or adequate balance will have their stories bounced from the lineup until they are corrected.

3) All reporters who have had stories with published corrections in the last year and any editors who inserted errors into copy will be required to take a mandatory class on accuracy and precision to be held the first week of June and led by Carleton Bryant.

John

The best part is the retro-action. If you thought your unfair or inaccurate reporting was saved by the bell, think again.

So what would Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris do in this situation?