Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dawn Eden on getting fired from the New York Post

Featured today on Katie's Beer:

In her review of Annabelle Gurwitch's new book for the New York Daily News , Fired, Dawn Eden shares some incredible details of her last days at the New York Post:

"...maybe my own pink-slip experiences have made me overly skeptical of dismissals that are tightly plotted and teem with deadly zingers. Even the firings of mine that came suddenly were, in retrospect, the result of long-simmering differences that finally bubbled to the surface.

Consider my exit from the New York Post. On the day I got the ax as a copy editor, Col Allan, the editor in chief, called me into his office and told me that he was "very concerned" about my blog, where I discuss my beliefs as a Christian conservative. He then lowered the boom (those "fired" synonyms just keep coming). But the first intimation that something was up had come days earlier.

It was then that I got in trouble with my boss, and a Post reporter, by making changes in an article about in-vitro fertilization. I was merely trying to add factual balance. (When three embryos are implanted and two "take," the third one--it seemed worth mentioning--"dies.") The newspaper, however, thought that the changes reflected "rabid anti-abortion views," as a Post gossip column would later put it. When my boss refused to fire me over the incident, the unsatisfied reporter found my blog, printed out certain passages and took them to the top brass.

The word then came down from on high: "When you give an interview, if you talk about being Christian, don't mention that you work for the New York Post." I agreed. But I had agreed to the same thing four months before, after I gave an interview to a media-gossip Web site and my comments had stirred concern at the paper. When Mr. Allan finally fired me, then, it wasn't entirely clear whether the reason was my blog, my beliefs or my editing. But for days I'd had the feeling that something bad was going to happen."

I haven't highlighted any particular phrase in her account, but certainly some of it shocked me. Of course, I'm not an intrepid journalist but just a wife, mother and employee who likes to write. In my world, I can't imagine being fired for my views unless they were just so extreme from the main or I was just downright beligerent that working with me was impossible. Sounds like Ms. Eden has found a good home at the New York Daily News. Has the day finally come where a reporter can have opinions and beliefs and still be given a fair chance as a mainstream journalist? I would think that the Get Religion thinktank run by Dr. Terry Mattingly, whose goal it is to make sure the reporters report stories with religious components accurately, is a good example of this positive trend.

Dawn Eden's blog can be found at Ms. Eden does a good job of reviewing Ms. Gurwitch's book, Fired. Isn't she the girl from that movie show? Yep, it was the show, Dinner and a Movie. Hilarious!

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