Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ex-Merc editor finds herself in a firestorm

Susan Goldberg received a rude surprise if she thought she was escaping controversy when she left the top newsroom job at the Merc for the same position at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. An editorial cartoon by one of her staffers, which was intended to take a shot at the city's mayor, instead was widely seen as an insensitive and tasteless portrayal of a 12-year-old murder victim. (See Richard Prince's column.) Fierce outrage in the black community forced Goldberg to run an apology. But two of her reporters, writing anonymously in the alt-weekly Cleveland Scene, say she ducked TV reporters who wanted her comments on the controversy. They remarked, "Isn’t it funny we work in a business where we want people to call us back?" The two went on to write:
    "It’s funny how the San Jose Mercury-News is going through major changes since Susie left. I hope she doesn’t ruin the PD like the Mercury-News. The company just found an accounting error of $4 million, and will have to ax dozens more. Or maybe Susie just saw the writing on the wall. Time will tell.

    "The only thing Susie has taught the newsroom so far is a new term called “Chunky Bits.” The term is the rage of the newsroom. Can your story be told as Chunky Bits?"

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