Thursday 27 October 2016

Newspaper apologies after reporting competitor's 153 job losses as 'karma'

Published 12/11/2015 | 13:12

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been forced to apologise after sharing a story on a competing paper's job losses with the word 'Karma'.

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared the story on 153 job losses at their biggest competitior, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, to their Facebook page where the word 'Karma' was added, along with a smiley face emoticon.

Shortly afterwards the Post-Gazette updated their Facebook page to apologise, writing "we would like to sincerly apologize for the last post which has now been deleted".

"It is by no means a representation of our views and we will look into the matter immediately. Please know we do not take the topic of job loss lightly, let alone when it involves those working in the same field we are in".

"Once again, please accept our deepest apologies".

A former employee of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review took to the post to object to the comments.

"As a former employee of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review who knows many of the people about to lose their jobs...  I'm much more sad than angry".

He thanked the PG for their "honest post" explaining things and said that he was glad they didn't claim they were hacked. "It's nice to see that the PG chose not to go that route".

He wrote "I hope the PG uses this as a teachable moment".

"Sure, you could fire the person and just move on but you can also take the opportunity to train the person to make them better".

"Believe me when I say that when you make a mistake of this caliber, a mistake of a national scale that will get you written up in the top social media blunders of the year, you never do it again".

"Second chances mean a lot of training, both in social media in general and in sensitivity. I can't tell if the person who wrote this is a young intern or a bitter former Tribune-Review employee. It really doesn't matter".

Fans on the PPG page have described the original post as "unprofessional and disgusting".

Jim Romensko, of the website, shared a screenshot of the post on his Facebook page and his fans weighed in.

Some surmised the blunder was the work of "some young person [hired] to spice up its social media" while others pointed out the "bad blood" between the papers "for twenty plus years". One wrote "funny that everyone here assumed some young employee did this and not an experienced employee with an actual history of the rivalry".

A person on third-party page 'Stuff Journalists Like' blamed the incident on "bad blood" between the papers "over the coverage of layoffs at the Post-gazette earlier this year".

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