ProJo Administers Both Pink Slip and Red Pen
In an exclusive at Not For Nothing, Ian Donnis has learned not only the identity of the editorial writer laid off at the Providence Journal – David A. Mittell, Jr. – but that the ProJo refused to print his last column, which was critical of how newspapers have been operated in recent years.
At what point does such a decision cross the line from the inalienable right of an owner to operate his private business as he sees fit to censorship?
Below is an excerpt from Mr. Mittell’s spiked column, more of which can be read at Not for Nothing.
The Boston Globe has reduced the number of papers distributed to stores — presumably to save the cost of picking up unsold copies. I would call it suicide.
You would think newspapers would be democratic; “Here are my clips. Judge me accordingly!” In fact, large newspapers are hierarchical bishoprics in which power takes a long time to acquire and is jealously guarded. De-ossifying antiquated stratification, not gutting content, is the correct imperative.
This newspaper, like many others, runs three-inch ads stuck on the front page above the fold. We were sorely criticized in 2006, when a political ad of this genre ran on election day. A candidate had outsmarted his rivals. What would they have said if we had censored the ad? The critic missed the more revealing point that the literally tacky ad eclipsed the news headline and a logo commemorating the Journal’s 175 years of service to Rhode Island and the nation.