The Courant recently fired 42 year veteran reporter George Gombossy because he wanted to run an article about the Attorney General investigating one of the Courant’s biggest advertisers.
Perhaps the craven, ethically-challenged executives at the Courant should have considered what would happen after they went up against an actual, seasoned reporter.
Today Gombossy published on his blog a list of key advertisers “I was to be nice with.”
The list can be found here. He calls it “the list of prime advertisers The Courant gave me so that I would know to ring the alarm bell at [Courant senior veep Jeff] Levine’s office in case I even considered writing one negative word about them. Other Courant reporters and columnists have received similar orders recently.”
“I was directed by The Courant’s top management to write nothing negative about them in my columns or blogs, nor approve of any reader negative comment, without first giving top management a chance to censor and potentially kill the offending item. The list – which includes state agencies – applies to all Courant reporters and columnists.”
The Courant is the paper of record for Connecticut and is the oldest continuously published paper in the US. But their glory days are way past as they become a poster child for how to destroy the integrity and stature of a once thriving newspaper.
There are dozens of names on the list Gombossy published, major retailers, institutions, casinos, state agencies, and the State of Connecticut.
Well goodness, I guess that means no investigative articles into possible State of Connecticut or casino shenanigans will be written henceforth. Because of course reporters won’t even write them, why risk offending the top brass?
The way for newspapers to survive is by providing actual content and by being of genuine service to readers, not by becoming contemptible advertising-driven pieces of fluff with no real content.