August 25, 2003

To Bee or Not to Bee

Tony Marcano, the ombudsman at the Sacramento Bee, writes about a Bee sportswriter who was fired for reporting on a San Francisco Giants game he never attended and using quotes made to other reporters.

Marcano calls the "prolonged fit of prevarication and chicanery" by Jayson Blair at the New York Times " a wake-up call for the newspaper industry" and asks: "But did a couple of reporters here at The Bee decide to stay in bed?" (A second Bee reporter, unnamed, is being investigated by the paper for "lifting information verbatim from a press release.")

The fired sportswriter, Jim Van Vliet, who had put in 34 years at the Bee, told Marcano he was "shocked and dismayed" by his dismissal, a feeling Marcano correctly doesn't share.

"Zero tolerance for ethics transgressions is a harsh but necessary reality, particularly in the post-Blair era," says Marcano.

I agree absolutely. See my post below about the need for newspapers to separate themselves from the media fray in order to regain the respect of the reading (and non-reading public). Zero tolerance for journalistic scammers is a good first step.

(Thanks to J.D. Lasica for the pointer.)

 Tony Marcano Zero tolerance at The Bee for ethics transgressions

Posted by Tim Porter at August 25, 2003 04:57 PM

34 years at the paper and he's still doing stuff like this? Maybe he should have retired a long time ago.

Posted by: bryan on August 25, 2003 07:08 PM

More than likely he did "retire" a long time ago.

Posted by: Tim on August 25, 2003 07:28 PM

You must be a long-time journalist....Only one side to every story? Christ, stick to kiddie porn.

Posted by: Leslie Ingle on September 3, 2003 08:11 PM
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