When you’re asked to leave, do you go?

There’s a reporter in Milwaukee who’s facing a problem. She’s been asked to leave. Not her job. Not her neighborhood. Her beat.

Erin Richards is the K-12 reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As she was getting ready for an upcoming meeting, she noticed she was an item on the agenda.

The School Board’s President was “…requesting that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel assign a new reporter who is not biased against MPS to cover MPS.” (See item number 14)

Jim Romenesko was quick to pick this one up. To him, the district referenced an email that had been sent to Richards’ editor citing factual errors and typos as the reason they wanted a new reporter assigned.

Whether any of that is true,  since when does a school board decide who is or is not covering the beat?

An editor can certainly talk with a reporter after receiving a similar email. But reassigning the reporter based on a request from the school board? That doesn’t fly with me.

Freelance journalist Jeff Cutler brought up a valid point on Twitter.

If you were the editor, what would you do?


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