From AJR, December/January 2010 issue
Company Press Release?
Your article on the San Diego Union-Tribune spinning off its investigative unit is almost surreal in the way you simply buy wholesale the official line of Editor Karin Winner and Lorie Hearn, the head of the new Watchdog Institute. First, I worked there for 35 years before retiring as television critic in 2006. Winner and Hearn have long shared a close friendship, and many in the newsroom believe this arrangement was created to save Hearn's job during layoffs at the paper. And you did not ask why, if Karin and the U-T were so determined to keep investigative reporting alive, she laid off Dave Hasemyer, who for 25 or 30 years has been the paper's single most dogged, determined and productive investigative reporter. Your story could easily be the company's own press release on the subject.
Robert P. Laurence
Brooklyn, New York