Journalist Gets Last Laugh On Way Out

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Posted August 19, 2011 by Jeff Prince in Blotch

Lee Morris was mad and he couldn’t take it anymore.

The managing editor at Valley City Times-Record (North Dakota) didn’t like how a new corporate policies were ruining the city’s newspaper by banning critical stories in an effort to sell more ads. Anyone with journalism experience knows the ridiculousness of watering down stories and writing feel-good pieces to try and make people happy and, therefore, sell more ads. It might work for a brief time, but that kind of sell-out quickly leads to irrelevance.

Once a paper loses its willingness to write the truth, poke sacred cows, and point out graft and corruption, it’s dead.

So Morris wrote a scathing column about the new policies, predicted the “end of real journalism at the Times-Record,” changed his byline, and placed the story under a vague headline so as not to attract attention.

He managed to get the story published without his overseers catching on to his one-finger salute.

Then he resigned.

Here’s the brutally honest column he wrote, and more info about it on Jim Romenesko’s Poynter site.


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