Thursday, December 17, 2015

Longtime journalist says she was fired for writing editorial about gun control

Jan Larson McLaughlin
The editor of the Sentinel-Tribune, a daily family-owned newspaper in Bowling Green, Ohio, was reportedly fired for writing an editorial about gun control that the publisher ultimately refused to publish, Jennifer Feehan reports for the Toledo Blade. Jan Larson McLaughlin, who had been with the Tribune for 29 years and editor since 2013, "said she was handed a letter of termination accusing her of insubordination for allowing news staff members at the Sentinel-Tribune to read an editorial about the NRA that she had written, as was her normal practice."

"McLaughlin said the rejected opinion piece called on responsible gun owners to reclaim control of the NRA in the wake of recent mass shootings across the country," Feehan writes. "Sentinel publisher and vice president Karmen Concannon killed the editorial and subsequently declined to discuss the matter with staff members who asked her to reconsider publishing it." Concannon's parents own the newspaper.

McLaughlin said she believes she was fired less for writing the editorial and more for trying to discuss with the publisher why it wasn't published, Feehan writes. McLaughlin told Feehan, “I knew that particular editorial was dead, but I needed to know how to proceed from there. I needed some direction. She refused to talk to me . . . The newsroom standing behind me was just the last straw of me constantly pushing to be a better newspaper, to be who we are supposed to be in the community.” (Best Places map: Bowling Green, Ohio)

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