July 11, 2011

Romenesko Memos
The Huffington Post has suspended Amy Lee, who wrote a summary of an Ad Age post that Simon Dumenco complained was unethical and brought just 57 page views to AdAge.com. Huffington Post Executive Business Editor Peter Goodman apologized for the post in an email to Dumenco: “Your criticism of our post is completely valid. We should have either taken what you call ‘the minimalist approach’ or simply linked directly to your story.”  Here’s what Goodman told Dumenco:

Dear Simon:

I oversee business and technology coverage here at the Huffington Post Media Group and I’m writing in response to your July 11 post about our aggregation practices.

Let me say, right off the bat, that your criticism of our post is completely valid: We should have either taken what you call ‘the minimalist approach’ or simply linked directly to your story.  That is how we train our writers and editors to handle stories such as this.

We have made a very substantial investment in original reporting here, bringing in dozens of new writers in recent months. And while we will continue to curate the news for our audience, what occurred in this instance is entirely unacceptable and collides directly with the values that are at work in our newsroom. We have zero tolerance for this sort of conduct. Given that, the writer of the offending post has been suspended indefinitely.

More broadly, your complaint has prompted us to redouble our efforts to make sure our reporters and editors understand that this sort of thing is unambiguously unacceptable.

Please accept our apologies.  Thank you for your time. I’m happy to discuss this further, as needed.


Peter Goodman

Peter S. Goodman

Executive Business Editor
AOL Huffington Post Media Group

Related: The seven steps to a successful aggregation strategy for your news organization

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
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