Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rick Rodriguez Resigns

The Newspaper Guild raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Rick Rodriguez over what a story in the newspaper called "a disagreement with the publisher over the paper's long-term direction." Guild officials noted the "lack of candor" when notifying newsroom employees and the public about his departure and wondered what it meant for jobs and newsgathering. Click below for the Guild's statement.

Publishers Released After Public Outcry

Late last week, two co-founders of the Phoenix New Times were arrested for "publishing details of a grand jury subpoena" demanding reporter notes and information regarding visitors to the alternative weekly newspaper's Web site. It was a case we at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists might have spoken out on, had officials not wisely reversed course less than 24 hours after news about the subpoena was released and an overwhelming backlash from the public.

At NAHJ, our concern is with what appears to be a blatant abuse of prosecutorial authority against the press. They sought, according to the New Times, "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present." Prosecutors also wanted "detailed information on anyone who has looked at the New Times Web site since 2004," the paper reported. It baffles us that any prosecutor would think this was an acceptable request. I, for one, congratulate the New Times on its legal victory.

Rafael Olmeda, NAHJ President

Friday, October 19, 2007

NAHJ Urges Reporter’s Reinstatement

NAHJ urges Dallas' KDFW-TV Fox 4 to reinstate reporter Rebecca Aguilar immediately. Aguilar was suspended after interviewing a 70-year-old man who shot and killed two burglars at his business. She was suspended after a deluge of calls and criticism by bloggers. NAHJ affirms that journalistic principles, not special-interest driven community response, should determine if a reporter stays on the air.

UNITY Journalists of Color statement of support
Aguilar's first interview since suspension - click and scroll down
An alternative weekly's commentary supporting Aguilar

What do you think?