The editor of Arkansas Business has penned an open letter to Rick Bagley, the news director at KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Ark. At issue: a lengthy piece on the station’s website raising questions about the qualifications of the recently-appointed director of the University of Arkansas’ Center for Ethics in Journalism.
The editor, Gwen Moritz, says the article should have included a disclosure: it was written by KFSM managing editor Larry Henry, whose mother-in-law is a professor at the school who supported a different candidate for the job. Moritz exchanged several emails with Henry about the piece; in the open letter, she said Henry “insulted me personally and professionally and even offered some choice words for my husband for good measure.”
Moritz also reveals Henry has applied for jobs in the university’s journalism department twice, once as recently as last year. A Jim Romenesko reader points out when comments on the KFSM website started questioning some of the story’s problems, “the comments were mysteriously turned off.”
“If I were their news director, I would consider whether they are qualified to practice journalism at all,” Moritz writes in her letter to Bagley: Read more