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Editor has destroyed the PWs credibility

Original post made by Amazed on Apr 6, 2009

The editor of this news source today "outed" an anonymous Town Forum poster. This is a serious violation, and greatly undermines this paper's credibility. It seems clear that Embarcadero Publishing owes its readers the responsibility to either request the editor's immediate resignation or to terminate his employment. Once this action has taken place, the paper can begin working to rebuild its trust in the community.

Comments (28)

Posted by ?, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

Why is this on the School & kids blog?


Posted by Amazed, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:16 am

My mistake...it was an outgrowth of the parcel tax issue. Mods - please feel free to move it to the appropriate category.


Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:24 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

OK everyone... time for a nice, deep breath.

While I'm disappointed by his recent lack of editorial judgment, Jeb doesn't deserve to lose his job over this hubbub. HE SCREWED UP! Fine, move on.

To call for his ouster is unnecessary and spiteful. If the "outed" and/or wronged people aren't calling for his head, and would be satisfied with an apology, then that should be enough for this bloodthirsty crowd.


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

Intimidation is a dangerous game. Play with caution.


Posted by Amazed, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:33 am

I am not one of the "wronged" or bloodthirsty, nor do I have a strong opinion on the parcel tax issue. The editor seems to be seriously lacking in judgement, though, and it's hard to see how this news source can rebuild credibility under its current editorial leadership.


Posted by anonymous (yeah, right), a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:48 am

The editor has also pulled that thread . . . . . perhaps after getting some legal advice. Sorry Jeb, some of us have saved and printed your comments before and after your editing out of Ann's name.
This has nothing to do with the parcel tax, it is a matter of editorial misconduct. Embarcadero management are you listening?


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Once again, the Weekly is protected by the First Amendment, not bound by it...


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Jack,

Why does this look like a free speech issue to you? I don't see it that way. This is a journalistic ethics issue. The Weekly tries to abide by the Code of Ethics published by the Society of Professional Journalists. Here's their Code of Ethics Web Link

"Minimize Harm
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
Journalists should:

— Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

Journalists should:
—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.

Be Accountable
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

Journalists should:
— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
"

The Weekly is supposed to report the news, not become the news.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Hey, did Bingo and the staff UNRING THAT BELL again ? Methinks they did.


Posted by Ashamed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I don't know just how accurate on-line searches are but every Jeb Bing I have come across is over 65 which means he doesn't have to pay the parcel tax. Another ding to credibility. Say it ain't so, Joe.

As a private citizen, log on to the forum and say what you want about the parcel tax, as long as you log in as a registered user. But using the PW as your platform is simply Poorform.


Posted by Credibility?, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

When did an anonymous blog ever have credibility? I hope that none of us take what we read here seriously. They are just points to ponder - make up your own mind.


Posted by Jack,, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm

This is a freedom of the press issue.
It is their publication, their website, their business, alas, their voice.
Your post and your code of ethics use words such as "should" and "try."
Your Constitution uses words such as "shall" and "will."
"Code of Ethics published by the Society of Professional Journalists" versus the First Amendment to the United States Constitution?
That's like bringing a knife to a gun-fight...


Posted by Zazu Pitts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

The "outing" by Jeb Bing was a violation of Pleasanton Weekly's privacy policy,
However, please do not assume that because Mr. Bing chose to behave unethically that his behavior is condoned by either the Pleasanton Weekly president, Gina Allen. or Embarcadero Publishing.
As soon as the PW president was made aware of Mr. Bing's posting, she removed identifying names, and later, removed the entire post.
However, please share with her your concerns...gallen@pleasantonweekly.com


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Jack,

Not _my_ code of ethics! It's the Weekly's code! They publish a notification about it in EVERY edition. I've emailed Gina in the past and she's never published my name. This is NOT about the Weekly's freedom of press.

"Code of ethics
The Pleasanton Weekly seeks to adhere to the highest level of ethical
standards in journalism, including the Code of Ethics adopted Sept. 21,
1996, by the Society of Professional Journalists. To review the text of the Code, please visit our web site at www.PleasantonWeekly.com"


Posted by anonymous (yeah right), a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Zazu says--- "However, please do not assume that because Mr. Bing chose to behave unethically that his behavior is condoned by either the Pleasanton Weekly president, Gina Allen. or Embarcadero Publishing."
I must disagree with that statement. If Gina Allen or Embarcadero Publishing did not condone (I did not say "agree with") Jeb's actions he would no longer be employed there. Allowing him to continue is their express reply that they DO condone his actions.
This is not a freedom of speach issue, it is a matter of the violation of their own policies which could cause harm to the individual whose rights were abused.
It has gone way beyond discussions about the parcel tax, this is misconduct by a person who was in possession of confidential knowledge and used it in a way that his own superiors promised it would never be used. That, by any code of ethics, is a firing offense.


Posted by zazu pitts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Hi anonymous,
I'm not disagreeing with the solution you're suggesting - maybe you could share your ideas with Gina Allen. It will be interesting to see what happens next. One thing I've definitely noticed since this morning - threads are not being shut down.


Posted by anonymous (yeah right), a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Zasu,
Thanks for your response. I have written to Ms. Allen and await a response.


Posted by PullTheStickoutAlready, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Wow, I thought I had a lot of time on my hands. Apparently not as much as you do. Some people are taking the "Pleasanton Weekly" a little too seriously. Cut Jeb some slack. Eveyone needs to step back and take a deep breath. The parcel tax issue has everyone so worked up. Let each voter get the facts and form their own oppinion. Quit beating a dead horse and quit checking the site every two minutes. I would hope you have better things to do with your time. Chill out!


Posted by Mike, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 7, 2009 at 9:02 am

Don't take your anger out on Jeb. I know him and he is a man of high character and ethics. He made a decision and is sticking by it. He does not let his political leanings determine how he runs the Weekly.


Posted by anonymous (yeah right), a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

"he is a man of high character and ethics. He made a decision and is sticking by it. He does not let his political leanings determine how he runs the Weekly."
The decision we are talking about was the one to violate the stated policy of Embarcadero Publications and he sure made that one. He is entitled to ANY opinion as long as he does not use his editor's position to state it without disclosing the conflict of interest. Few would debate that part.
But to say that he is a man of "high character and ethics" is to be totally blind to what he did. The man publicly posted the name of a person who had been told she had privacy. That is wrong. That is the issue. Nothing else.


Posted by mac, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

Mike,

While I don't think he needs to be hung out to dry, I do think it needs appropriate addressing. Yes he is a man of character, however his ethics were absent (in the discussed event) and his political leanings are OFTEN felt in his ruminations, which one would have to believe runs over into his running of the paper.

Stacey offers a perfect example when she says: "The Weekly is supposed to report the news, not become the news" The editor's ego crossed the line and became the news.

By the way, did a personal and public apology ever go out? I am missing that part.


Posted by Amazed, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 9:57 am

Let's see...it's been about a full day now, and the only actions taken by the paper have been to remove the original thread and to tweak the home page algorithm by not allowing this thread to appear as one of the day's hot topics. So instead of trying to make things right, Embarcadero Publishing digs itself a deeper hole. No apologies, no reference to the egregious behavior of the editor...nothing. Is anybody home at the PW? Bueller? Bueller?


Posted by violated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 10:06 am

Mike,
A personal and sincere apology was made by the PW President, Gina Allen.
Mr. Bing's original post was made at a time when Ms. Allen was en route to work, so she had no way of seeing it until she arrived at work. Someone called her about the post and she took immediate action, but of course couldn't change the fact that the post had been copied and shared in the community.
Ms. Allen has every reason to expect that her staff will abide by the PW Privacy Policy, I know of no other time in which the policy was violated.
I believe she was just as surprised that a staff member violated the privacy policy as was everyone who saw the violation.
I expect she will be addressing this issue with her staff.


Posted by Amazed, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 10:19 am

Are we supposed to learn of supposed follow-up actions via anonymous third parties, or will the management of this news source communicate directly?


Posted by Diana, a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

My understanding is we will hear from the PW sometime today.
Stay tuned.


Posted by Anonymous cause I can, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

Lots of hot heads on TS...must've rubbed off on the editors too.

Can someone post the details of JB's original post?

Read "The Independence" if you want factual and unbiased reporting. PW's coverages on the parcel tax issues have been extremely biased and are predominately opinions of the editors. Those editors should consider posting anonymously on TS instead so they don't put their profession to shame...


Posted by #, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 7, 2009 at 11:30 am



Web Link


Posted by Jade, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm

" A man of character whose ethics were absent." That's something to ponder, like maybe forever since it makes no sense.
A mistake, he called it? A mistake is thinking it's Tuesday when it's Wednesday. What he did was a willful, thought-out, deliberate action.
He needs to explain his thinking, and how it has changed. What he learned, how he is different.
Calling it a 'mistake' is quite self-serving, and makes me think even less of him.


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