Class Act

by Roger Pynn

I wrote yesterday about a headline debacle in the Orlando Sentinel.  It could have been any newspaper in the country today as publishers struggle to staff their print products in a digital economy and face embarrassing mistakes on a daily basis.

But I doubt few senior editors would have responded the way Breaking News/Communities Editor Mike Lafferty did when I posted my scathing commentary.  He shot a personal note.  He wanted to offer a mea culpa.  “We screwed up.  It was embarrassing.  It may have been the worst thing I’ve ever seen us do.”

I consoled him.  “C’mon Mike, you guys are being asked every day to do more with less.  I get it.  I’m a died-in-the-wool newspaper guy.  I’ll go to my grave clutching what’s left of my daily newspaper.”

He said the newsroom staff had spent a great deal of time focusing on the mistake.  Stuff happens.  What counts is that there are still folks in the newsroom committed to the most basic concepts of journalism.  It is important that we have civil discussions about what’s happening in our world of professional communication where we’re all trying hard to do our job under the watchful eyes of a connected society.

Kudos, Mike … and special recognition to my journalism alma mater for having the foresight to have people in charge like Lafferty.

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