Over the weekend, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel sports editor Tom Davis got on Twitter and advised Indiana University basketball recruit Collin Hartman to sign with Butler University — the editor’s alma mater. Davis’s journalism ethics were questioned by his followers. More after the jump.
Romenesko reader Patrick Donahue writes in an e-mail:
I don’t think that the act of tweeting a high school kid to go to an alma mater — and a university that your news organization covers — is that grievous but it is certainly unprofessional, if not altogether unethical. That fact was not lost on the News-Sentinel’s readers who peppered Davis with tweets. emails and phone calls justifiably calling into question his ability to objectively cover or organize coverage of either of these programs. Instead of addressing those concerns in a professional way or apologizing for the tweet, Davis belittled his readers. He tweeted: “Note to IU mbb fans: I really don’t believe that the Hartman family is going 2 b influenced n a major decision by Tom Davis’ “tweet.” and shortly after tweeted: “U need to put the coffee down, walk around the block, pet your cat for 3 minutes and settle down.”
Davis also tweeted:
Note to IU mbb fans: I really don’t believe that the Hartman family is going 2 b influenced n a major decision by Tom Davis’ “tweet.”
@cwhartman27 After what I’ve endured the last 20 hours, if u ever alter ur choice 2 go 2 IU I bet my dog is dead!
Thanks Tweets, I added almost 40 new followers today. Wonder why?
The sports editor didn’t respond to Romenesko’s request for comment on the flap.