'Little girl' reporter defended by former editor

SC Hotline

Tom Mashberg edited Renee Dudley's work when she was at the Boston Herald, and says the young reporter "stepped in cold and immediately broke big stories for me." He adds that "the aim of Dudley’s reporting, then and again now in the matter of [South Carolina] Gov. Nikki Haley [expensing $127,000 for a weeklong trip to Europe], is to track and examine the expenditure of taxpayer money, and to force those government officials who spend it to justify the how and why." Haley reacted to Dudley's Charleston Post & Courier story by calling her "that little girl" trying to "create conflict." Mashberg says his ex-colleague was "engaging in the most basic and important reporting task journalists have: to follow the money, and to see whether an official’s spending claims stand up to reality." He adds:

It is perhaps to be expected that Gov. Haley, no doubt shamed and embarrassed by her poor handling of the matter, would resort to dismissive and insulting remarks. From my vantage point, it is clear that the 25-year-old reporter is showing far more maturity and professionalism than the person running your state.

"I decline comment," Dudley emailed after I asked her reaction to Haley's remarks. On Friday the governor said she regretted the "little girl" comment.

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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