Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
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.