Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Star correction 2

An open letter to Kathy English, former Toronto Sun reporter and the Toronto Star's Public Editor since May:

The Toronto Star, through your ombudsman columns and the newspaper's widely publicized editorial policy, promotes fairness and full disclosure.

Well, Kathy, your colleagues at the Star are saying the correction for a Jim Bawden/Uncle Bobby obit published on Saturday was not fair and calls for clarification.

In a nutshell, they say the Star has done Jim, a respected veteran television columnist, wrong.

"Jim Bawden was screwed," a Star staffer said in an e-mail to TSF. "It is a great shame that a guy who dedicated his life to his job was treated this way."

A brief replay:

On May 24, 2007, Bawden writes a Bobby Ash obit containing content from an April 25, 1976, Toronto Sun story written by Theresa McConnell.

On Dec. 1, 2007, more than six months after Bawden's obit was published, the Star publishes a Page 2 correction calling the Sun content "improperly attributed information."

(One source said Bawden's original copy included full Toronto Sun attribution, but it was deleted by an editor because it wasn't "Star style.")

Aside from attribution, the entire Star correction scenario just doesn't add up.

First, why did the Star decide to publish a correction six months after the obit was published?

Second, how did the unattributed content come to the attention of Star management?

Third, who would have noticed the lack of attribution 31 years after the Sun story was written?

Kathy, we'll settle for an answer to one of the 5 W's - Why?

Why a correction for this particular unattributed Sun content from a 1976 story?

If Bawden's colleagues say he has been wronged and fellow journalists in T.O. question the motive for the peculiar correction, a call for fairness and full disclosure is warranted.

After all, the Toronto Star is all about fairness and full disclosure.



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