Early next month, Miami Herald county hall reporter Matthew Pinzur leaves the newspaper for a $115,000-per-year job as special assistant to Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess.This is the second major case in recent weeks where it appears a Miami Herald reporter has had a cozy relationship with the people he or she covered. To maintain the relationship did the reporters tiptoe around negative issues that should have been tackled in the Herald?
The move has caused outrage in the Herald newsroom, prompted head-scratching in the halls of power, and raised questions about coverage of the annual $7.4 billion local government budget, which is larger than that of many states.
"I'm personally, unbelievably disappointed," says Charles Rabin, a Herald reporter who shared bylines with Pinzur. "I feel jilted."
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez is also concerned about the quick change from fourth estate to top brass in Florida's largest local government: "I have concerns about Matt's objectivity, especially how this was done," Gimenez says. "The timing of it ... makes me very suspect."
Paired with the recent disclosure that the newspaper's former education reporter, Tania deLuzuriaga, apparently carried on an improper relationship with the new Miami-Dade schools superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, it raises questions about credibility and ethics at one of America's most storied newspapers.
UPDATE 9/27: I initially said this piece was written by Bob Norman; in comments I was pointed to the real authors, Francisco Alvarado and Chuck Strouse. My apologies.
Emails reveal former McClatchy education reporter may have had an affair with Miami schools chief she covered