Press Herald's donation slammed by PPH reporters, Columbia Journalism Review

The first public in-house criticism of the Portland Press Herald's donation of $46,000 worth of advertising to a political campaign (the elected mayor one) has been published in the Columbia Journalism Review. The text isn't online as of this posting, but you can check here to see if it is now.

It includes criticism from both Greg Kesich, an editorial page writer, and Tom Bell, a political reporter who also heads the employees' union.

CJR issues a "Dart" in its "Darts & Laurels" column, saying the Press Herald should not have blurred the "important line between the business office and the editorial page."

An aside: the CJR piece credits the Forecaster's Randy Billings with the scoop; but Phoenix columnist Al Diamon had the news on his blog four days earlier, and I followed Al's post by four hours with the actual documents showing what happened. No disrespect to Randy, who's a solid journalist, nor the very strong Forecaster, but a scoop's a scoop, online or otherwise.

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