Truth and Consequences

Reporter's Suit Against Murdoch Still Standing

That brings us to decision making in the newsroom, a hot issue if the case ever goes to trial. For expertise, Finke's lawyers have introduced two declarations by Michael Parks, director of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and former editor of the Los Angeles Times. After a review of the evidence, Parks sharply criticized the Post's decision to fire Finke on the grounds of inaccuracy without ever having investigated the alleged errors. He calls that move a violation of "basic principles" of newsroom management. (Parks left the L.A. Times in the wake of a scandal involving that paper and the Staples Center.)

Finally, the Court of Appeal said that Finke had offered credible evidence that she was damaged financially when the Post fired her. The evidence dubbed credible is Finke's claim that she was talking to editors at The New York Observer and Salon when the Post accused her of accuracy "problems," whereupon the talks ceased. No one ever said you could tell the truth without having to suffer the consequences.

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