Friday, September 25, 2009

Controversy swirls after another McClatchy editor orders a reporter to delete a blog entry

Looks like Gatekeeper Disease is spreading across McClatchy.

A firestorm erupted last month over McClatchy's hire of a KU grad, Kellis Robinett, to cover Kansas State athletics. Word circulated among die hard Kansas State fans that Robinett had published a pro-KU blog -- "The Jayhawk Lounge" -- which had been deleted about the time he was hired. Tom Shine from the Wichita Eagle responded to the controversy with an explanation of the hire, and admitted Kellis was asked (presumably by the Eagle and the Star) to delete his blog.

Nothing like deleting a blog to give the people the impression you're trying to hide something.

McClatchy learned nothing from that controversy; this week, KC Star sports editor Holly Lawton "asked" Star sports writer Mike DeArmond to delete a blog entry he posted about several brawls at KU involving athletes.

After readers complained, KC Star readers rep Derek Donovan weighed in and said the blog entry was deleted because the reporter had strayed outside his beat.

I asked the sports department, and I'm in agreement with the reasoning for taking it down: Mike is the MU beat reporter, and his purview doesn't extend to KU. Sports editor Holly Lawton didn't think it was a good fit, and asked for it to be removed.

I find that suspicious because the content on DeArmond's blog doesn't seem limited to MU. The Star even describes DeArmond's blog as, "The Kansas City Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State." Check it out yourself.

But even if Lawton is correct about DeArmond's beat being limited to writing about MU, DeArmond could increase readership at the Star's site by linking to anything else the Star posted about the KU brawls. Seems like the sports editor doesn't understand the multiplying effect of linking.

And it's clear she has a bad case of Gate Keeper disease.

One more thing: John Landsberg notes Lawton is a KU alum.



Anonymous said...

Well, this took up space. Who cares? Must be getting desperate for blog comments.

Anonymous said...

"Controversy swirls?" Good God, man, a veritable tornado! I think not.

Anonymous said...

Strange, venturing beyond the borders of the beat is what the KC Star is best known for.

Just read Pork Chop's racist rants, slanders against certain religions and whoreship of Obama.

John Altevogt said...

Derek once again betraying the fact that he's just an apologist for The Star's tacky ethics. What a whore.

McClatchy Watch said...

11:49 -- Would love to know what the Star pays Pork Chop.

Anonymous said...

400k last estimate I heard. It wasn't disputed.