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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Lewis’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Third AP Employee Fired | Globe Sale Halted | More Reuters Staff Bolt


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AP Fires Third Employee Over Terry McAuliffe Mistake, Guild ‘Alarmed’ (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The guild that represents employees of The Associated Press responded Tuesday to the recent firing of journalists involved in a retracted story about Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, saying the employees’ rights were violated. “The firings have alarmed AP employees nationwide, and the News Media Guild will vigorously enforce the contractual rights of the employees it represents,” Guild president Martha Waggoner told The Huffington Post in a statement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Norman Gomlak, an editor in The Associated Press’ Atlanta bureau, was among those fired in the wake of an erroneous report about Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Politico has learned. Gomlak was involved in editing Bob Lewis’ report on McAuliffe on the night of Oct. 9 along with Lewis’ editor, Dena Potter. Lewis, Potter and Gomlak were fired on Monday. The Washington Post Lewis makes no excuses about the mess-up. But, he said Tuesday, he feels “stunned and hurt” by his firing after 28 years of “unblemished” service to the AP. “I still can’t really wrap my head around it,” he said by phone from Richmond. “The only blessing out of this has been the expressions of support” from friends, colleagues and many of the officials he has covered over his career, including Virginia’s two senators and former governors, Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Mark R. Warner (D), and the state’s current governor, Robert F. McDonnell (R). JimRomenesko.com News Media Guild members are asking colleagues to sign a petition protesting the dismissals of Associated Press journalists who were involved in the retracted story about McAuliffe. Poynter / Regret The Error Based on close to a decade of tracking media errors, my (admittedly anecdotal) view is that you’re more likely to keep your job after an error if: The mistake in question was not a willful attempt to mislead, a significant conflict of interest that was deliberately concealed, or a breach of ethical standards related to plagiarism and fabrication. The reporter has been with the organization for a long time, is not a contractor, and previously avoided other major mistakes. The reporter is well respected by colleagues internally and externally. The organization is not sued as a result of the error. The error doesn’t get too much media attention. By my count, Lewis ticks every box except for the last one: This error got a lot of attention.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP’s Bob Lewis Fired | Netflix Subs Top HBO | Pogue Heads to Yahoo!


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Associated Press Fires Journalists Over Erroneous Terry McAuliffe Report (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The Associated Press has fired a reporter and editor over an erroneous Oct. 9 report that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lied to an investigator in a federal fraud case, according to sources familiar with the matter. The AP retracted the article in question roughly an hour and a half after publication, and last week, suspended its author, veteran political reporter Bob Lewis. According to sources, Lewis has since been fired. The AP has also fired Dena Potter, a Richmond-based news editor for Virginia and West Virginia. Politico The move, according to sources familiar with the AP’s thinking, was meant to send a clear signal that such mistakes could not be tolerated by an international news organization that prides itself on accuracy. But for those who had worked with Lewis, a highly respected veteran on the Richmond political scene, the AP’s decision was seen as an overreaction. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple The excruciating question faced here by managers at the AP relates to how much immunity a long record of achievement affords a reporter who commits a monstrous mistake. In this case, not enough to save Lewis’ job. That’s a tough call, but also a highly defensible one for a wire service whose entire purpose hinges on nailing high-pressure reporting, every single time. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer “We’ve consistently said this story is water under the bridge and did not ask for any actions to be taken against those involved,” said the McAuliffe campaign in a statement.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Silver Dings Politico | ONA Announces Honors | AP’s Lewis Suspended


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Nate Silver Previews Site, Hits Politico (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Nate Silver, the statistician who recently joined ESPN from The New York Times, previewed his new website on Friday and dished out some criticisms of the current journalism environment, much of it directed at Politico. Delivering the keynote address at this year’s Online News Association conference in Atlanta, Silver said the new fivethirtyeight.com will be free and will launch “very early next year.” “The idea is that it’s a Web product, first and foremost. I’m sure we’ll build out podcasts and video coverage over time, but really the core challenge is in identifying writers and journalists who have the right critical thinking ability,” Silver said. TheWrap Silver also took a few swipes at Politico, whose coverage of elections and politics he’s often criticized, calling it an example of what journalists shouldn’t do. A recent article assumed that correlation equaled causation, Silver said, in stating that the government shutdown lead to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s upswing in the polls. TPM / LiveWire Silver said that the way in which the information was presented in the article, not the information itself, was the issue. “It was a fine theory, but instead it was stated as a fact when there was no proof of it whatsoever,” he added.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Retracts Report on McAuliffe | Jessica Yellin Out At CNN | Wolf Blitzer Gets Political


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Associated Press Retracts Erroneous Report About Terry McAuliffe (TheWrap)
The AP made a major error on Wednesday in a report that accused Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, of lying to a postal inspector during an investigation into an insurance scam. The Atlantic Wire The story, which is still up on some websites with an accompanying disclaimer, claimed that “Terry McAuliffe lied to a federal official investigating a Rhode Island estate planner now imprisoned for receiving death benefits on annuities secured on terminally ill people without their knowledge.” The mistake in the AP’s reporting comes from misidentifying a suspect referred to by the initials T.M. NY Magazine / Daily Intelligencer The initial report, from AP political writer Bob Lewis, cited a 2011 indictment against a man named Joseph Caramadre as the man who figured out a way to reap the benefits of death annuities on strangers. McAuliffe’s name really did appear on a list of Camaradere’s investors. But the significant detail that he was accused of lying to investigators about it was a mistake. Politico The AP issued a rare withdrawal notice for the story at 11:25 p.m. — a major blow to an organization that distributes news to member organizations worldwide, many of which post alerts and stories to the Web almost instantaneously, potentially prolonging the lifespan of any error. Poynter / MediaWire On Twitter Lewis said the mistake was his: “The error was mine and I take responsibility for it.”

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