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Re: IMUS OUT AT WEEI
> One man's rumor mongering is another man's informed speculation or
> analysis of events. That's entirely appropriate in Dean Johnson's stories
> which do run as columns, not just straight news.
True, columnists should have more room to speculate than
reporters. But they should choose their words carefully to indicate
whether their ideas are fact or opinion. Dean wrote, "Look for Imus
to show up at one of the local Greater Media outlets." That sounds
like a factual statement, which really needs some kind of
attribution, even if it's labelled as from "an unnamed source."
All the rest of Dean's comments about Greater Media are clearly
opinions and analysis. WBOS and WKLB are "prime candidates."
"Either station stands to gain ratings ground." "Two questions
remain: Will he pop up on WBOS or WKLB?"
The only actual reporting about any Greater Media decisions in the
story is: "Local Greater Media head Peter Smyth was on vacation,
and other management was unavailable."
With that kind of speculation and unavailability, there's no
supporting evidence in the article for Dean Johnson's "Look for
Imus" at Greater Media comment. He owes his readers, at the
very least, the mention of an anonymous informed source (if he has
> My speculation is that your complaints are because this story hits too
> close to home. If the story was speculation about the future of Pete
> Carroll, you would have no concern.
Chuck's message is a good reminder that whenever "celebrities"
are mentioned in gossip items, there's a real person, often with a
family and the usual worries about bills and job security, behind
those "Big Names." When you make your living in public, you do
have to expect public comment about your future, and maybe you
will read about your successor in the paper. That's OK, but
reporters and columnists still should follow those rules about
distinguishing fact from speculation.
It happened to me, too, recently. A member of this list reported on
a website several months ago that someone else was, in no
uncertain terms, slated to take over the afternoon shift at Magic,
which I've now been doing for a year. Of course I wasn't pleased to
hear that, but I understand the publicity does indeed come with the
territory. However, the story did not turn out to be true. The
reporter would have retained more credibility if he'd attributed his
facts, or labelled his speculation.