Monday, February 16, 2009

N&O Public Editor Vaden's Leaving

McClatchy’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer announced today:

Ted Vaden, The News & Observer's public editor, is ending his 32-year career at the newspaper to take charge of communications at the state Department of Transportation.

Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced Vaden's appointment today as deputy secretary for communications, a new post at DOT.

DOT announced a hiring freeze last fall, but Conti received Gov. Beverly Perdue's approval for the new hire.

As a deputy secretary, Vaden will direct communications policy and oversee about 20 employees including DOT's public information staff, at a salary of $117,000.

The new position was recommended by a consultant as part of a department reorganization aimed at making DOT more efficient, transparent and accountable to the public.

"DOT is an agency that has had its problems, and I see it as an interesting challenge to take on the communication function in addressing those problems," said Vaden, 61. "[Conti] has made it very clear he wants the department to be more open to the public, more accessible."

"He is a fine, fine human being, and he's done a really good job as public editor and before that as publisher in Chapel Hill," N&O Publisher Orage Quarles III said of Vaden. "I'm going to miss our conversations. He's a really smart man."

Quarles said he had not decided whether to appoint a successor after Vaden steps down as public editor at the end of the month. He said recently that a prolonged revenue slump will force staff reductions at The N&O later this year. . . .

The entire N&O announcement’s here.


My comments:

Who can blame Vaden for bailing from the N&O and McClatchy which have been eliminating positions?

He’s lucky to have landed a government job that sounds like it was set up for him.

Vaden’s taken heat from N&O readers for his prominent role in “fogging over” and justifying the N&O’s racially inflammatory, biased and often fraudulent Duke lacrosse coverage.

For instance, except to say he agreed it “skirted the edge fairness,” Vaden endorsed the N&O’s notorious, deliberately fraudulent and now discredited Mar. 25, 2006 story the N&O said was about a night of “sexual violence.”

Vaden's refused readers’ requests that he ask the N&O to cite the police report it claims to have used to confirm the false accuser's false statements it published in its Mar. 25 story in which it said she was granted anonymity because of the N&O's policy of granting anonymity "to victims of sex crimes."

After reviewing the entire case file, North Carolina’s attorney general found no such police report.

Police reports in NC are public records and easily cited and confirmed when they exist.

Vaden’s never cited the “police report” he told readers the N&O used as part of its story the public later learned was instrumental in framing the Duke lacrosse players as the perpetrators of what the N&O falsely called a night of “sexual violence.”

In fact, Vaden’s never mentioned in his print columns or at his blog that in the almost three years since the story ran across five columns on the N&O's front page, no one’s found the N&O’s “police report.”

Such is what informed readers have come to expect from their self-described “readers' advocate” who also likes to tell readers about his and the N&O’s watchdog role. (See “The Watchdog still barks - - and bites”)

Look for more soon about Vaden’s work as public editor and what I think the N&O should consider when deciding whether to hire another public editor.

Hat tip: Journalist friend


Anonymous said...


I'm glad to see the recession hasn't hit N. Carlina;-)

It might be interesting to see the actual consultant's report that set up this "critical" position.


Ken said...

Governor Beverly Perdue approved the hire. Another Democrat propagandist moves across the line from media to government just like Stephanopoulos did in the other direction. They aren't even trying to hide the connection anymore. This is why I'll never vote for a Democrat for any office. I might vote Republican, third party or leave the line blank, but I will never vote for a Democrat. The corruption of the media runs too deep.

Anonymous said...

Can't be too good for the ego to hear that the boss might not bother to find a replacement for you after you leave.