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TWT‘s Slevin Addresses Miniter Allegations

This evening, Jonathan Slevin, TWT‘s acting publisher addressed staff via memo about accusations of discrimination, an EEOC complaint filed by Richard Miniter and rumors about the pub in the “blogosphere.”

In the memo, Slevin requests of his staff, “that during this time of transition you read certain newspaper and blog reports about this organization with a discerning eye.”

If I may be so bold…I’d like to suggest that TWT begins communicating with their staff and the journalists that cover their organization less than two business days after scandalous stories about the paper hit the Web. I mean, really?

Memo obtained by FishbowlDC after the jump.

From: David Jones
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 18:47:24 -0500

Subject: a word from the publisher

The following statement from Jonathan Slevin, which responds to the widely reported allegations from Richard Miniter, will appear on our editorial page tomorrow:

A Word from the Publisher

The Washington Times on November 9 announced upper management moves designed to help keep pace with the ever changing media marketplace. As you know, we are dealing with the same challenges faced by many American families and businesses – limited resources and fiscal constraints – forcing us to make difficult choices among many competing priorities. Prior to these management changes, on November 6, John Solomon, executive editor for 20 months, tendered his resignation.

To keep the voice of The Washington Times vibrant during these challenging economic times, we are in the midst of an evaluation with regard to securing and enhancing our voice for the long term, in an environment that is increasingly dominated by digital media and the blogosphere. The opportunities that lie before us also gave rise to the reassessment of the type of leadership, vision and talent required to take us to the next phase. I anticipate that the coming weeks and months will bring additional changes to The Washington Times, yet rest assured that no matter what changes occur, we will continue to maintain the same spirited reporting on our news pages and online, and a robust alternative voice on our opinion pages.

Despite recent media reports about the leadership of The Washington Times, we continue to maintain the same commitment to our employees, readers and viewers that we always have – one of fairness and balance – in the workplace and in our newspaper. While the advent of the Internet has brought us all closer together and has given us the ability to share information instantaneously, it has also opened the way for less credible media sources to report factually inaccurate stories, which, unfortunately, take on a life of their own.

Due to recent public allegations and the alleged filing of a complaint with the EEOC by a Times editor, Richard Miniter, who has been at home for some time, I would like to stress publicly what Times employees know well. The Washington Times does not discriminate and does not tolerate discrimination. We operate within the law and require the same of employees. I am confident that once the charges raised by Mr. Miniter, are investigated, the company will be fully vindicated. The company has no further comment about this matter due to our policy of not giving out information about employees.

I would ask that during this time of transition you read certain newspaper and blog reports about this organization with a discerning eye. Many of our competitors enthusiastically repeat rumors, myths and misinformation. They are not acting in the best interest of their readers with this type of reporting, when their audiences are provided unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo as fact.

However, by maintaining focus on what is important – our readers and the quality of our reporting and other content – we can help ensure that The Washington Times remains a vital news organization now and into the future.

Jonathan Slevin
Acting President and Publisher

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