Hartford Courant continues downward spiral

circling the drain
From George Gombossy, who was recently fired from the Courant because he wanted to run a story about the Connecticut Attorney General investigating Sleepy’s, a big advertiser.

Scrappy JI accuses Courant of blatant, systematic plagiarism, joining other papers in blasting state’s largest news outlet

‘At best plagiarism, at worst outright theft,’ one newspaper publisher says; Courant covers towns with other papers’ reporting

Sure, lots of newspapers are in major financial trouble now, but these recent actions by The Courant are particularly egregious. Gombossy was given a list of all their major advertisers and told not to report on any of them without getting an ok first. Such actions, no matter how dire their financial condition, simply destroy journalistic freedom and integrity and guarantee the paper will continue its now probably irreversible death spiral.

The Courant just has issued an apology for the plagiarism, but Gombossy isn’t impressed. Neither am I. The apology says that somehow, in copying articles from the web to print, that the original author’s name and attribution somehow just vanished and, whoops, was replaced with the byline of a Courant reporter. This gets my vote for lamest, most pathetic excuse of the week. They might as well have just said the dog ate it.

Some questions come to mind:

This has been going on for weeks, it was even mentioned in Courant Columnist Rick Green’s Blog. Why did it take a front-page story Saturday morning in the JI to finally get the Courant to “review” what its been doing?

How much longer will Tribune and its creditors permit Levine and his mentor, Courant/Fox 61 Publisher Rich Graziano and Editor Naedine Hazell run the oldest newspaper of continuous circulation into the ground?