Newspaper promotes exec who thought it was OK to nab article

The Times-Herald

The Newnan (Georgia) Times-Herald has named John Winters its publisher, the newspaper reported Sunday. Winters was previously the Times-Herald’s general manager. It was in that capacity he told Dan Whisenhunt, the proprietor of the Atlanta-area news site Decaturish, that the Times-Herald was free to reproduce his article without permission on its website because “All facts, even comments by persons quoted in an article, are in the public domain.”

Winters, the paper notes, is “a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.” As Alexander Abad-Santos wrote in 2012, “all it takes to be “nominated” for a Pulitzer is a $50 and an entry form.”

Winters is also on the board of the Georgia Press Association, which declined to weigh in on the Times-Herald’s appropriation of another publication’s article, saying, “Since this appears to be a dispute about which you and The Newnan Times Herald have different views, I do not expect the Georgia Press Association to become involved in it.”

Reached by email, Whisenhunt said, “I do not agree with the way Mr. Winters handled my complaint, but I wish him luck in his new job. Community news is important and anything that undermines it – including theft of someone’s copyrighted material – is a threat to its future.”

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