Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sorry for Mean-Spirited Facebook Post about Tribune-Review Layoffs - iMediaEthics

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The Post-Gazette apologized for a Facebook post calling a competitor's layoffs "karma."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has issued an apology after one of its Facebook posts seemingly mocked a rival company’s news that it would have to lay off workers.

In a Facebook post, the Post-Gazette shared an article it published about the publisher of the Tribune-Review, a competitor, needing to lay off 153 employees. The problem wasn’t the article the Post-Gazette shared. It was the comment added with the link – “karma” with a smiley face emoji. The Nov. 10 article was headlined: “Trib Total Media to lay off 153 in sweeping restructuring.”

Trib Total Media is the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other newspapers. Three newspapers including the Pittsburgh publication “will be consolidated into one paper,” the article noted.

In an apology statement, posted on Facebook, the Post-Gazette said:

“We would like to sincerely apologize for that last post that has now been deleted. It is by no means a representation of our views and we will look into the matter immediately. Please know we do not take the topic of job loss lightly, let alone when it involves those working in the same field we are in. Once again, please accept our deepest apologies and know we will do everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again.”

Susan Smith, the managing editor for the Post-Gazette told iMediaEthics by e-mail that it deleted the Facebook post after about 40 minutes, that the Post-Gazette regretted the post as well as the idea behind it, and that no one in the newsroom wrote the post. She wrote:
“We feel our apology, which we published shortly after the “karma” post was removed, stands as a sincere statement of the Post-Gazette’s regret that such a post ever appeared and our belief that the sentiment contained in it is totally at odds with our corporate values. The post itself was on the PG’s Facebook page for 40 minutes before being deleted. It drew dozens of comments, the vast majority of them understandably critical, and was shared and retweeted a number of times.  To my knowledge, yours is the only media outlet that has contacted us directly for comment. The circumstances surrounding the post are now an internal personnel matter.  Because I work in the newsroom and because several commenters seemed to be assuming that someone in the newsroom was involved in creating the post, I feel compelled to make it clear that was not the case.”


iMediaEthics has written to the Tribune-Review for further comment.

Hat Tip: Jim Romenesko


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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sorry for Mean-Spirited Facebook Post about Tribune-Review Layoffs

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