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10-03-06, 11:08 AM #1
Lets hear it for freedom of speach!
Miami Herald publisher resigns, cites journalists taking pay for promoting democracy in Cuba
MIAMI, Oct. 3 — The Miami Herald's publisher resigned Tuesday, saying ''ambiguously communicated'' personnel policies resulted in the firings of three journalists at its Spanish-language paper who were paid to appear on U.S.-government broadcasts aimed at promoting democracy in Cuba.
Jesus Diaz Jr., the papers' publisher since July 2005, had dismissed two El Nuevo Herald reporters and a freelance contributor who had been paid by Radio Marti and TV Marti. Diaz said the company offered to rehire the three and that six others who took payments would not be disciplined.
Diaz also resigned as president of the Miami Herald Media Co.
''I realize and regret that the events of the past three weeks have created an environment that no longer allows me to lead our newspapers in a manner most beneficial for our newspapers, our readers and our community,'' Diaz wrote in a letter to readers announcing his resignation.
David Landsberg, a longtime Herald employee who served as general manager, took over immediately as company president and publisher of the two newspapers, said The McClatchy Co., the papers' parent company based in Sacramento, Calif. McClatchy acquired the newspapers in June when it bought Knight Ridder Inc.
''While we are sorry to see Jesus leave, we couldn't be happier about having such a talented and experienced leader perfectly poised to step into this important job,'' said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy president and CEO.
McClatchy spokeswoman Elaine Lintecum declined comment beyond what was in the company's news release.
Diaz said he believed the journalists' acceptance of payments ''was a breach of widely accepted principles of journalistic ethics.'' But he added ''our policies prohibiting such behavior may have been ambiguously communicated, inconsistently applied and widely misunderstood over many years in the El Nuevo Herald newsroom.''
He said no one would be allowed in the future to accept money from the U.S. government-run broadcasters, and conflict-of-interest policies would be strengthened.
The Miami Herald reported early last month, citing government documents, that 10 South Florida journalists had received thousands of dollars from the federal government for their work on radio and TV programming aimed at undermining Fidel Castro's communist regime.
Pablo Alfonso, who reports on Cuba and wrote an opinion column for El Nuevo Herald, was paid almost $175,000 since 2001 to host shows on Radio and TV Marti, U.S. government programs that promote democracy in Cuba, according to government documents obtained by the Herald.
Olga Connor, a freelance reporter who wrote about Cuban culture for El Nuevo Herald, received about $71,000 from the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and staff reporter Wilfredo Cancio Isla, who covered the Cuban exile community and politics, was paid almost $15,000 in the last five years, the Herald reported.
The dismissals caused a furor among members of Miami's Cuban-American community, which responded with canceled subscriptions and attacks on Diaz and some of the newspaper's editors and journalists in letters and e-mails. Critics also said Diaz reacted too quickly and harshly
The Herald's internal probe revealed that four of the six El Nuevo Herald employees who accepted payments from Radio Marti and TV Marti had been approved by El Nuevo Herald executive editor Carlos Castaneda, who died in 2002.
Diaz spent the past 14 months as head of the Herald's operations and oversaw the ownership transition from Knight Ridder to McClatchy and through several hurricanes that strained production schedules.
He joined the Herald in 1993 as vice president and chief financial officer before departing three years later. He returned as general manager in 2002 and succeeded Alberto Ibarguen in 2005.
Diaz said he planned to seek an opportunity to become CEO of a company.
We are the thin blue line
and all the money in the world.
And no you can't have any.
10-03-06, 11:39 AM #2
i saw this in the paper... i had to laugh at the jesus leaving line.. just i know its a guys name but it struck me funny...
i am glad i am sick and on vacation so i dont have to deal with the Hialeah (like little cuba) crowd on this one!http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
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