To the Editor:
As the editor in charge of the content of The Hartford Courantâ€™s print and online editions until my departure in May, I never gave an advertiser a â€œheads-upâ€ about a pending story, nor was I aware of any such agreement between the advertising and news sides of the company (â€œLosing Job, Consumer Columnist Cries Foul,â€ Business Day, Aug. 18).
The journalism I practiced during my 30-year career at The Courant observed, even celebrated, the â€œseparation of church and state.â€ This, in my view, is a fundamental tenet of ethical journalism: the pursuit of a story â€œwithout fear or favor.â€ These are not hollow clichÃ©s, but deeply held convictions that drive concrete practices.
From the inception of his â€œWatchdogâ€ column, my instructions to George Gombossy, The Courantâ€™s recently departed consumer columnist, were to be scrupulously accurate, fair and unflinching in his reporting â€” whether or not his subject was an advertiser.
Barbara T. Roessner
West Hartford, Aug. 18, 2009
The writer is a former political reporter, opinion columnist, projects editor and, most recently, managing editor of The Courant.
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