Friday, March 13, 2009

Reporter's firing blamed in part on college

When reporter Joel Elliott was fired from the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in late January, what resulted was a story that has raised a lot of questions about freedom and transparency in the media. Executive Editor Eric Conrad cited complaints from sources as the reason behind Elliott's firing, but Elliott says that his stories were accurate and that Conrad should have supported him, instead siding with "powerful local interests" such as Colby College, Jeff Inglis writes for the Portland Phoenix. Elliott is fighting back, through his union. (Read more)

Conrad says the college in Waterville requested that Elliott no longer cover the college. "Colby awards annually the Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism in the name of Colby graduate Elijah Parish Lovejoy, America's first martyr to freedom of the press," notes an editorial in The Colby Echo, the university's student paper. While the college denies the blame (a denial the editorial believes is true), the writers argue that Colby should publicly request that its name be removed from the letter firing Elliot. (Read more)

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