March 15th, 2012 | by WW Editorial Staff News | Posted In: Media

UPDATED: The Oregonian Fires Editor Who Provided False Information About the Death of Bob Caldwell, the Paper's Editorial Page Editor

oregonian
An editor at The Oregonian says she was fired Thursday after she misled the newspaper about the death of the O’s long-time editorial page chief, Bob Caldwell.

Kathleen Glanville, a veteran editor on the newspaper’s breaking news team, says she was trying to prevent Caldwell’s family from embarrassment about the circumstances of his death on March 10.

The newspaper reported on OregonLive on Sunday and in Monday’s print edition that Caldwell had suffered a fatal heart attack while driving. The story cited a “family friend” as the source of that information.

Here's what the newspaper reported:

"According to a family friend, Caldwell was running errands Saturday afternoon when he didn't come home as planned. Police apparently found him in his parked car in Washington County and rushed him to a hospital."
 
Monday night, the newspaper made a dramatic admission on its web site: that its original reporting was wrong and that Caldwell had actually died in the apartment of a 23-year-old woman after engaging in a sex act with her. This new story, quoting a police report, said the woman told investigators Caldwell had been paying her for sex for the past year.

The original Oregonian story didn’t tell readers the "family friend" was Glanville, one of the paper’s editors. Sources familiar with the decision to fire Glanville say she had been told by Caldwell’s wife, Lora Cuykendall, about the true circumstances of Caldwell’s death, but Glanville nonetheless passed on false information to the paper, which appeared in its Monday print edition.

Here is what Glanville said in a message on her Facebook page Thursday evening.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to The Oregonian for the many years that I had the privilege to work there. I was fired this afternoon because in the midst of great sorrow for the loss of my dearest friend, I did not share with the paper the embarrassing details of his death, which I knew only because of my close relationship with his wife.

I understand the need my newspaper felt to punish my violation of journalistic ethics in some way. There are times in people's lives when you have to make a decision about what is most important. I am sorry that my decision -- which came from love -- cost me my job. I will always cherish the many people who I have worked beside for so many years.

I loved working at The Oregonian -- it was my life.
   

UPDATED: In Friday's edition of The Oregonian, Editor Peter Bhatia has published a nearly 1,200-word account of how the newspaper mishandled the reporting of Caldwell's death. In it, he names Glanville as the editor who he says lied to the newspaper about the circumstances about Caldwell's death. He does not, however, disclose that the newspaper fired Glanville.

Bhatia claims the misinformation reached readers as the result of a series missteps and failures of the newspaper to fully discover the story, not an effort to cover up the circumstances of Caldwell's death.

Bhatia also does a bit of name calling. He said that those who think the newspaper engaged in a cover up are "trolls."

 
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