Two of those stories featured “success” claims about the Bay City Academy and its Mancelona satellite campus, the North Central Academy. Although I believe my story debunked many of those claims, Mr. Moorehouse clearly has another position.
His response is reproduced below, with two modifications — I have redacted his email address and cell phone number out of privacy concerns.
All that aside, it's clear this cat is a first class flack! (That's nicer than D-bag, right?)
Let's start at the top:
“I’m a blogger and contributor to the Livingston Post site, and I absolutely posted the stories about Bay City Academy and North Central Academy. I post a lot of good-news stories about charter schools on the site, and will continue to do so. I enjoy posting good-news stories to the site about a variety of things - not just charter schools. I enjoy sharing good news on lots of different topics. Most of the time, since these are basically just press releases that required no research on my part, I don’t put my name on them.”
Well, Buddy neglected to mention those so-called “good news” stories he wrote about the Bay City Academy and North Central Academy were created from press releases he himself wrote on behalf of his role as the Vice President of Communications for the Michigan Association of Public School Academies — MAPSA.
I like recycling my own content as much as the next guy, but when a charter mouthpiece admits to posting “good-news” stories created from press releases he wrote for his well-paid day job, I just have to face-palm in disgust.
“I know you feel that any story about a charter school is inherently controversial, but I obviously don’t agree. Your opinion on this is meaningless to me.”
No, Buddy, I don’t consider “any story about a charter school is inherently controversial”. However, I believe it’s feckless (and tasteless) to lecture a writer graciously requesting a comment by terming the writer’s opinion “meaningless”.
Feh! Do you kiss Santa Claus with that mouth?
“Now, your main point seems to be that I committed a journalistic sin by not putting my name on a press-release story. Anita, I don’t believe I’ve ever met you and I don’t know anything about you other than what I’ve seen online. And from what I can see, you’ve never been a journalist, nor do you have any journalistic training. So I feel quite comfortable lecturing you on the topic of journalism and journalistic ethics. I have a degree in Communications from the University of Michigan, and I worked for 26 years as a newspaper reporter and editor at various papers in Michigan. I’ve won awards. I have some bonafides.”
Wow, officious “mansplaining” at its most egregious!
No, I’m not a journalist, and never even played one on TV.
However, while Buddy marinated in Michigan his entire career, I took my degree in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University to New York City and parlayed it into a publishing and advertising career, one that continued after I returned to Michigan.
From Hearst Magazines to Young & Rubicam (one of the world’s largest advertising advertising/marketing agencies), I managed large, complex projects for companies including Planters LifeSavers and Morgan Stanley.
In addition, I am an award-winning copywriter, having won a Silver ADDY award for a corporate brochure I wrote for the Dow Corning Corporation.
But I don’t want to brag — Buddy’s “bonafides” might deflate.
“When you write up a press release or take information that somebody else has compiled and run it in your publication, you don’t put your byline on it. Got it? I followed that rule as a reporter and editor at my former newspapers, and I follow that rule with the Livingston Post. You don’t put your byline on something just because you posted it. You put your byline on something when you did the reporting on it, or if it’s an opinion piece.”
Again, it might work if “somebody else” wrote the release that was used for a news story.
However, that didn’t happen in this case.
It’s a deception on Moorehouse’s part not to clearly state something like this: “I wrote this press release while sitting at my desk at MAPSA, and now I’m recycling it into a news (cough!) story.”
“In the case of the Bay City Academy and North Central Academy pieces, I didn’t do any reporting. It was just press release information that I posted. It would have been a breach of journalistic ethics if I HAD put my name on it.”
You might know ethics if ethics bit you — right in the middle of your so-called…well, you know!
“Now, I will say that I didn’t mind one bit that you wrote about me. I know your blog doesn’t have much of a following, but I consider it a badge of honor that I made it in there. Feel free to write about me anytime - and please know that every time you contact me for a response or reaction, I will respond. Most journalists ask for the response BEFORE they run the piece, but that’s up to you how you do it.”
The Livingston Post’s media kit states the site averaged 16,000 page views per month during 2016, roughly equivalent to my 14,000-18,000 per month 2016 average.
Not that I’m bragging.