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Following Up: Ryerson Writes More On Why RiShawn Is Gone, Gone, Gone

Indystar Indy Star executive editor uses his Sunday column space to further explain the RiShawn Biddle situation:

"The individual who posted the remarks is no longer with the newspaper, leading some critics to conclude that The Star won't allow contrary points of view.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. What we can't allow is divisive, blatant slurs that serve to inflame rather than enlighten.

"Some people also have said we are walking away from stories about ethical issues involving Gray, the City-County Council president.

"That also is not the case. Being civil does not mean we won't report the uncomfortable truth. Being constructive does not mean we will abandon our goal of holding public officials accountable for their actions.

"Indianapolis, like all older and large cities, has numerous major issues that must be addressed: our schools, the safety of our neighborhoods, high property taxes, lack of opportunity for all of our people.

"We can't address those issues in a climate of mistrust, hate and name-calling. The Star, of all institutions, can lead the way toward civility and tolerance. We want to be the center of community conversation, a designation we won't deserve if our own words promote the intolerance that all of us must work harder to prevent."

Comments

"The Star, of all institutions, can lead the way toward civility and tolerance."

Wow. What chutzpah!

"The individual..." ???

Why won't the Star name RiShawn Biddle?

This whole Biddle saga is a red herring, desperately concocted by none other than Ryerson. Use your heads and not emotions- He has the responsibility as Biddles supervisor to vet any and all editorials, yet he didnt, and the predicatble hue and cry ensued. That was bad enough on his part, and he could demonstrate his responsibility by in addition to firing Biddle, resign himself.
But no. He appears at a Democratic rally apologizing for his non-feasance. Think about this people: The editor of a newspaper which should be apolitical, showing up at a political party rally.
I ask you Democrats; if a Republican councilor was insulted in a similar fashion, would you not be screaming for the mans head who was ultimately responsible, Ryerson

GOP candidate Kent Smith and other Black Republicans were at this community event. Dont let your racism, ignorance and partisanship blind you to reality.

Did Ryerson have the responsibility to vet Biddles work, Wilson, yes or no?

Ryerson has an editorial editor who should've vetted Rishawn's work prior to it being uploaded to the Star's server and website.

Note this key word: should've. The fact is, Rishawn's and all other editorial contributions to Expresso routinely go unedited. You could note that fact by the many typos and incomplete sentences found in Rishawn's previous blog entries.

So the answer to your question, 11:55, is "No."

Rishawn himself noted that his posts weren't edited on a bloggers panel I appeared on with him a couple years ago. Matt Tully's were, however, because he was asked that question, too. For some reason there were different standards applied to the editorial blogs, but they both glossed over why when the discussion came up.

Jen and Gary Welsh were the other bloggers on the panel; maybe they can recall the specific discussion better than I remember it.

Steph,

I do recall him saying his content wasn't edited, but I didn't think much of it at the time.

I'm not going to make excuses for the editorial process, but mistakes happen, especially when you keep a small staff on hand to actually put out the paper each day.

Maybe this will be a wake-up call for Ryerson to hire a few more bodies to up the quality of the product.

You know, instead of more crap like IndyMoms, IndyPaws and the underwhelming AP wire vehicle that is Indy.com.

Don't forget the increasingly annoying little Sprint guy that holds up your page loading forever while it races off into nowhere!

There is something for everyone here.

Biddle was 85% correct in his blog. He resorted to a stupid moniker, and it dogged him until he was fired.

Ryearson felt obligated ot suck up even further to Monroe Freaking Gray and the Mayor, so he apologized. In writing. And then, if you read the Ryearson article correctly today, Monroe called him and whiend that the apology was not loud enough. Typical horsecrap.

And what does the editor of the state's largest paper do?

He attends a partisan press conference to further brown-nose.

Which was and is completely unethical and imappropriate.

It's also worth mentioning that one of the TalkBack commenters called for Ryerson to resign and admonished him for his unethical behavior.

As for why Dennis the Menace won't refer to RiShawn Biddle by name: I'm guessing he wants to forget about the situation and move on with further ruining the state's largest newspaper.

Let's hope his heydey ends soon.

It's further worth mentioning that most of the comments on the Indy Star TalkBack aren't worth the paper they're written on.

"most of the comments on the Indy Star TalkBack aren't worth the paper they're written on..."

LOL... if it required paper, 99.9% of those comments would never be read!

Here's a sure bet:

Dennis's appearance at a partisan press conference, after he'd already apologized twice, which was once more than necessary, will be fodder for more than one editorial conference in the future.

For those of you who don't study media regularly...it is, at the very least, highly unusual for an editor to make news in this manner.

And this just in: Cong. Carson plans to appear on Amos's radio show this afternoon. The Indy media have their notice...they could stand outside the studio and take pictures (gasp!) and she enters or exits,, and maybe even (double gasp!!) ask her a question.

Horrors!

You know, like real media do in other cities. Bust a sweat.

"It's further worth mentioning that most of the comments on the Indy Star TalkBack aren't worth the paper they're written on."

Uh, TalkBack is online, except for the few comments repeated in print when the paper deems necessary. Try to be more media-savvy.

not defending the star here. this is just a guess. even though sarcasm doesn't lend itself to writing - too easy to miss - here it goes:

its just a blog. why should I bother editing that?

In my 25-year media career and as a confirmed news junkie, I NEVER heard of a newspaper editor anywhere showing up to grovel at a political, partisan press conference (sorry, one GOP doesn't make it a bipartisan event). That was a stunning event in journalism history. If an editor has something to say to the readers, say it in print. Do your apology in private. Suck it up and move on.
Equally stunning -- the complete lack of remorse or acknowledgement that the paper itself had done anything wrong. Real newspapers don't allow anything unedited or unscrutinized to be published through their organization, whether online or in print. That's The Star's bad, and it's a direct result of mass staff cuts (through attrition) over the years. Ryerson holds responsibility for this skeletonizing of the newsroom, it all happened on his watch....and ditto the RiShawn incident. Ryerson, as editor, is supposed to edit (if not directly, then via delegation). He didn't.
When your loose cannon shoots, you're responsible for what it hits. Don't just blame the cannon.

"It's further worth mentioning that most of the comments on the Indy Star TalkBack aren't worth the paper they're written on."

Uh, TalkBack is online, except for the few comments repeated in print when the paper deems necessary. Try to be more media-savvy."

I am fully aware that TalkBack is online. That was my point entirely.

It's the shift from "journalism" to "communications" that started some 20 years ago... and now the Star is shifting from being a "newspaper" to an "information center" or "entertainment console" or whatever they are calling it.

Basically it is killing the profession... and there are two factors at work here. One is the dumbing down of the news operations and editorial starndards as evidenced by the Star and its various moves. The other is the increase in non-journalists creating content.

As they meet in a flood of unedited reporting, comments, pictures and video, the audience is both overwhelmed with material and underwhelmed with quality. Neither is good for the industry.

The same technology that helped to create a flood of information will help users sort through it and that should reward those who give the people what they want. Unfortunately there's no guarantee that will be a quality news product instead of inane battles of insults and outrage.

"And this just in: Cong. Carson plans to appear on Amos's radio show this afternoon. The Indy media have their notice...they could stand outside the studio and take pictures (gasp!) and she enters or exits,, and maybe even (double gasp!!) ask her a question."

Umm....most of you probably don't listen to Amos on a regular basis but Julia will probably be on the show today by telephone. She normally does her interviews with him that way. So The Star and the newshounds can stand outside all day and there still won't be a Julia sighting today....

At least it's a slow death...

The Indianapolis Star reported that daily circ declined 2.1% to 253,209 and Sunday dropped 2.3% to 337,421.

If the Star's daily circulation is 253,000, than I'm the Queen of Egypt.

Sunday's, I believe...because the entire state buys it on Sunday.

But that daily circulation, must count every peron in every home as a subscriber.

Is that audited, 10;06? Or reported for the annual October USPS Second Class Mail Permit circulation? There is a huge difference, ya know.

If it's 253,000, that 253,000 people that have figured out Matt Tully is a lousy columnist and lazy.

Nice fan club, huh?

Numbers are from today's E&P listing of national circulation trends... assume they use audited figures.

A good bet is that a whole lot of their readers are over 70 without computers and just take the paper to check the obits daily making sure they're not in them! Figure the rate at which the greatest generation is dying and you'll probably have the rate their circulation declines annually!

"It's further worth mentioning that most of the comments on the Indy Star TalkBack aren't worth the paper they're written on."

"Uh, TalkBack is online, except for the few comments repeated in print when the paper deems necessary. Try to be more media-savvy."

"I am fully aware that TalkBack is online. That was my point entirely."

Oh. Well, could have fooled me with the "paper" comment. If you're going to make a point, try not to be so obscure.

not worth the 'paper' they're written on...

Ah, the difference a small edit can make.

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