Jim Romenesko reports that the Newspaper Guild representing employees at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News filed a grievance with the Philadelphia Media Network over removal of material from stories without the authors’ knowledge, a contract violation.
One of the stories in question concerned interest by a group including former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell and South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross III in purchasing the Inky and the Daily News.
Romenesko cites a letter by Guild President Dan Gross.
“On Feb. 4, a paragraph related to Philadelphia Media Network’s earnings was mysteriously removed from the online version of Inquirer reporter Andrew Maykuth’s story about Ed Rendell’s group of investors seeking to purchase the company,” writes Gross in a letter to fellow Guild members. “The paragraph, about the company’s finances, appeared in the print edition of the Feb. 4 Inquirer, but was edited out of the online version. Maykuth was not told in advance, nor has anyone mentioned to him since, that the paragraph was removed after publication.
“On Feb. 7, Philadelphia Media Network Vice President for External Affairs Mark Block told the journalism web site Poynter.org that he ordered a blog post from Philly.com, by Daily News reporter David Gambacorta, to be removed from the site. Gambacorta was never consulted that his post was to be removed from the site and then replaced by an anonymously posted statement from the company. Block went on to suggest to Poynter that there were inaccuracies in Gambacorta’s story, which there were not, and commented that what appeared in Gambacorta’s post was ‘dishonest.’”