May 21, 2010

Oregonian reporter fired for writing for Glamour without OK

A 12-year career with The Oregonian ended with a firing because a reporter wrote a story for a national magazine without clearing the job with her newspaper editors first.

Details about the firing, including a comment from the editor, are posted in Williamette Week.

The story, published in Glamour under the headline " 'I Found Out My Mother Was A Killer': the Rebecca Babcock Story," is about a 26-year-old woman learning her birth mother, Diane Downs, was convicted of shooting her own children in 1983.

Downs was pregnant with Rebecca during the trial, the result of a "brief fling with a newspaper reporter" according to published reports. (The Oregonian published several reports, including this one, on "one of the most notorious murder cases in Oregon history.")

20/20 also featured Babcock's story. and "Why did Diane Downs Plot to Kill Her Kids?". You also can watch an interview with a reporter about how the story developed. The story of Diane Downs was the subject of Ann Rule's book "Small Sacrifices," and that was turned into a TV movie.

Most news organizations either restrict employees from contributing or publishing in other sources or require advance permission and first refusal rights.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting the Glamour and the Oregonian are owned by the same company.