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Jeez, Greg, the definition of "commercial purpose" is right in statute. Maybe if you'd take your media-bashing blinders off for a moment, you would be careful with what you write.

From ARS 39-121.03 (D): "For the purposes of this section, "commercial purpose" means the use of a public record for the purpose of sale or resale or for the purpose of producing a document containing all or part of the copy, printout or photograph for sale or the obtaining of names and addresses from public records for the purpose of solicitation or the sale of names and addresses to another for the purpose of solicitation or for any purpose in which the purchaser can reasonably anticipate the receipt of monetary gain from the direct or indirect use of the public record."

While what the Trib did may have been unethical -- and I'd be pissed if I was a reporter there looking to join a government agency -- it did not even come close to violating the law.

As usual when it comes to Greg writing about the media, he gets less than half of the story and writes about it before talking with people who could have set him straight.
The person who Greg claims was punished by being "assigned to another department," now covers the city of Mesa, which many journalists would consider a better assignment since it's the largest city in our coverage area with the most subscribers (Yes, Greg, we are still selling lots of newspapers, despite your previous predictions).
And the person who actually was hired as the Gilbert PIO, another Tribune reporter, left the newspaper with a handshake and a warm goodbye from those of us who are still here.
One other point, the names of people that a government is considering to hire for a prominent position always should be public record, not confidential information, unless you believe in hiring through cronyism, nepotism and favoritism instead of picking the most qualified person for the post.
Patti Epler, the Tribune’s East Valley city editor, also had a couple of thoughts that I am quoting here:
"I think you also ought to tell him that is against our ethics guidelines to write about an entity or person with whom you have a personal interest. In the case of reporters applying for jobs with agencies or organizations they cover, the personal interest and thus the conflict is clear – are they writing favorable stories to get the job, or, later perhaps, being exceptionally critical because they were turned down? He should consider the ethics and very real public implications of the situation, which is what the Tribune did and transferred the reporter to protect the paper – and the reporter’s – credibility.
"You might also point out that reporters have been asked to disclose when they apply for jobs that might create a conflict so that we can find a more appropriate assignment. The public records request was made to put to rest rumors that numerous reporters had applied."

I think it's fair to also point out that the reporter did ask for guidance and did disclose their intent to apply, and then disclosed when the actual application was dropped, both with her immediate editor and Templar himself as the ethics guru on staff, and followed their guidance on what to cover, which is all documented. The reporter immediately stopped covering Gilbert town hall news based on her own ethical standards, and took on community news, and followed guidance closely to ensure she violated no ethics and upheld what had been strong Gilbert coverage. Then, when this reporter did not get the job, she requested the new beat; it was not enforced upon her as is being suggested.

Hey Le, thanks for explaining the Trib policy. There are so many things that outsiders just don't get.

Now, can you explain the J. Craig Anderson move from the Trib to the Republic? Also, can you explain the one-year non-compete that the Trib requires reporters to sign?

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, some people at the Trib say Anderson was "escorted out of the newsroom by security". One reporter told me said "I guess that non-compete clause doesn't mean much any more".

Looking forward to your answer Le

I'd still like to know why the Trib filed the request Greg mentioned. Could it have served to HELP the person get the job? I'd like to know who my job competition is in such a case, but not sure I'd get my employer to try to publicly find out.

Anyone who knows the dynamics at the Tribune knows that no reporter was in league with the editor when she made that request for information.

And anyone who knows the dynamics at the Tribune also knows the request had nothing to do with the paper, or any reporters', credibility.
Templar is being naive. And he probably knows it.

Hey Le, maybe you can also explain how your opinion pages have the nerve to criticize on a libertarian basis, when your newspaper uses non-competes to violate the rights and liberties of journalists?

Very unseemly. They can try to spin it all they want, but my sense is that most, if not all, legitimate newspapers would shy away from this kind of behavior. It may have not been technically a violation of the open records law, but it was a clear violation of the spirit. Distilled down to its basest level, this was a company using the open records law to effectively spy on their employees.

Just because it is legal does not make it right.

Pray tell, if everything is milk and honey at the Tribune, why would there ever be a rumor that numerous employees posted for the Gilbert position, necessitating a borderline ethical Open Records request?

Le: you are the one telling "half-truths." Be honest. The request made by Patti Epler was not intended to "put to rest" rumors about those who applied. It was about Ms. Epler exercising control over people she doesn't like. What it did in a morale sense will have far more damaging consequences then this isolated incident. Does Ms. Epler really expect us to believe the reporter in question could have veiled in her writing positive or negative spins - depending on the outcome of the application process? Any half wit who calls themselves an editor, even at the Tribune, would have sniffed out a bias.
Some reporters some day apply in PR. That's what we do. Take one look at the industry and the Trib and tell me you blame them.
One more thing, the reporter's "promotion," it was done out of necessity. This particular reporter is capable of covering a beat and so she was transferred.
Ms. Epler talking about "ethical guidelines" strikes many who have worked with her as quite tickling. "People in glass houses "

I have a question. If the Tribune is selling papers as "Peoria Pundit" claims why has the Trib. laid off more than 20 people this year... including 8 more today (July 1).

Also, anyone who knows Epler, knows she does these things as power plays, not for some ethical polices. Employees are like chess pieces to her. She moves them around, based on who she likes, who's on her side and how it can benefit her.

Sadly, her house of cards is collapsing as it doesn't really matter what she does anymore. The whole industry is suffering but the Tribune, in particular is suffering.

No Peoria, you're missing the point. A newspaper should use the Arizona public records laws to inform the public, not to seek retribution against its own reporters.
And as for Le Templar, well, I think you're also not coming entirely clean.
I hear that not ONE but TEN reporters from the East Valley Tribune applied for that Gilbert PR job.
That's why the editors were so pissed off and filed the record request.
Check it out Greg and let us know.

Heh, if the newspaper is really a business they will use the public records law just like any other business does. Why are reporters, publishers, and editors held to a different standard than businesspeople and their PR people?

Le! Where are you man? There are people that want to hear from you! If you're going to poke your head into the blogosphere, you gotta play by the rules!

Newspapers don't make money off of subscriptions, they make money advertisements. The month to date totals written on the wall of the ad sales room tells the entire story.

As one of the people that was let go yesterday I think that the Trib is making good moves (except for the photographer). It is a shame that they did not let Epler go, the moral hit would have been much reduced. The Kush being let go definitely softened the that round...

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