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Today's Big Story

Vic Journalists Turfed in Alleged Ad Dispute

Dispute centres on car dealership story.

By Richard Warnica 20 Aug 2007 | TheTyee.ca

Richard Warnica is a senior editor at The Tyee.

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Sean Holman had a doozy of a story Friday that has already begun to ricochet through the web.

Victoria News editor Keith Norbury was fired today, Public Eye has exclusively learned, two days after one of his senior reporters -- Brennan Clarke -- resigned. The firing follows an advertiser complaint about an article published earlier this month by the newspaper. In an interview, Vancouver Island News Group president Mark Warner confirmed Mr. Norbury's forced departure was, in part, connected to the complaint. "There were a number of issues," he said. "But that was certainly one of them."

Read the whole story here.

Two fellow journalists had already sent the story my way by the time I checked my mail Monday. And bloggers from as far away as China were talking about what it means.

If the story sounds familiar, it should. It was just over a year ago that another Victoria paper –- The Times Colonist -- was caught in what looked like similar actions. From Shannon Rupp’s Tyee piece at the time:

The story began July 2 when Vivian Smith, who has written a human-interest column for the daily since September 2003, ran an opinion piece recommending free alternatives to pricey attractions such as high tea at the Empress hotel ($54 per person) and the famous Butchart Gardens ($23 for adults).

...

On July 5 the paper ran a front page correction to a minor factual error in the story... Standard practice at the TC (and many dailies) is to print corrections in a regular spot on page A2, or for columnists to note corrections in their next column.

The same day, Editor-in-Chief Lucinda Chodan met Smith to inform her that both her contracts were cancelled.
 [Tyee]

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