Albom, Four Others at Detroit Paper Disciplined

By: E&P Staff It was no shock that the Detroit Free Press today announced disciplinary actions against star columnist Mitch Albom at the conclusion of its internal probe. A little more surprising was that it also has taken some unspecified action against four other employees who had some involvement in his April 3 phantom NCAA basketball tourney column.

The paper did not disclose the nature of the discipline, nor the names of the employees.

It did say that Albom's column, on hold this month, will return. In fact, that was the headline on the explanatory article in the paper today, not the punishing of five employees. Some outside critics have called for Albom's removal at the paper.

But the Free Press added that this was not quite the end of the matter, revealing that "reporting is continuing on a story that will be published as soon as it is ready."

In a note to readers, Carole Leigh Hutton, publisher and editor, wrote:

"Detroit Free Press management has completed its internal review of an April 3 Mitch Albom column that contained inaccurate information by describing an event that had not yet occurred.

"Albom will resume writing columns for the Free Press. His work has not appeared since he addressed the incident with readers on April 7.

"Disciplinary action has been taken against five employees, Albom and four others, each of whom had some role in putting the April 3 column into the paper and each of whom had the responsibility to fix errors before publication.

"We took into account many factors, including the seriousness of the offense, the importance of our credibility, the history of those involved and Albom's 20 stellar years at the Free Press.

"We now look forward to that work continuing in the Free Press.

"We also think it's important to report on ourselves and our transgressions in the same way we would report on the institutions we write about regularly. So, reporting is continuing on a story that will be published as soon as it is ready."


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