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Monday, February 23, 2009

Another note about Vaden's depature from N&O

Posted by on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Gary Pearce at Talking About Politics thought my post about Vaden’s departure from The News & Observer was snarky. So did Laura Leslie at Isaac Hunter's Tavern. Perhaps it came out snarkier than intended.

I really do wish Ted Vaden well. He has more than three decades of experience as a serious and thoughtful journalist, editor and publisher, and he deserves a secure job with a good salary. I don’t begrudge him that. Nor do I begrudge any journalist who finds a better opportunity—how could you not jump from a sinking ship? I do hope Conti will make good on the pledge to make the Department of Transportation more transparent, and hiring Vaden is a step in the right direction.

Am I suspicious of government flacks? You bet I am. The N&O’s own investigations over the past year have only deepened that suspicion. I say that knowing that the way things are going, we may all become flacks one day.

What strikes me about Vaden’s departure is the irony of the contrast: Which of these organizations has a history of failure and corruption, and which one has a track record of ferreting out that failure and corruption?

Now, which one appears to be in danger of going out of business? And which one has the resources to keep someone like Vaden employed?

Let me amplify Pearce’s cry: “Will someone save the N&O from the disastrous reign of the McClatchy chain?”

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