Former Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Fort Worth Business Press publisher Richard L. Connor teaches by example.
If you want to learn how to be a good publisher/editor, look at what Connor did — and then do the opposite.
Connor caught heat last week when his current newspaper, the Portland Press Herald, ran a front page story about the end of Ramadan, featuring a photo of Muslims praying.
There’s nothing wrong with running a Page One story about the end of Ramadan, except — OMG! — the story ran on Sept. 11.
Readers complained that the paper didn’t give the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks equal play. Since when do stories about Muslims praying have to be offset with stories about a terrorist bombing?
Connor, though, issued an apology. The newspaper should have shown sensitivity “toward the painful memories stirred by the anniversary of 9/11,” he wrote.
A Portland newspaper should feel no obligation to write about the ninth anniversary of an unrelated New York bombing and put it on Page One just to appease readers who hate Muslims.
Some flag-waving Americans didn’t think Connor groveled enough the first time he apologized on Sept. 14. So he apologized even harder on Sept. 19. After all, readers were severely traumatized by seeing Muslims praying.
Ironically, the the story that cause all the uproar was headlined “A Show Of Faith And Forgiveness.”