Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Four former Newton Daily News editors and reporters ripped apart antigay Christer zealot Bob Eschliman in letter to Shaw Media the day before he was fired

The Newton community deserves apology from community newspaper

As former members of the Newton Daily News staff, we are concerned that management has not acknowledged the discovery of our former Editor-in-Chief Bob Eschliman’s lack of basic journalistic ethical principles.
      Over the last several days, not only have the thousands of readers across Jasper County been denied the apology that they deserve, but the Newton Daily News has made a conscious decision to not publish fair and well-reasoned letters to the editor on the matter.
     As Bob Eschliman once wrote, “I think we can all agree that we all have the occasional bad day at work. For most folks, the impact of those bad days is relatively limited. I don’t have that luxury.”
     He knows he lives in the public eye as the Editor-in-Chief of the Newton Daily News. He’s aware that his life and his activities go beyond the scope of his work and are subject to public scrutiny.
     He knows that, because it’s what he taught us. We were warned to take care of our own public images, especially in the political arena, because we might damage our professional credibility and thus the paper’s.
     Our former editor made a decision to write about his politics outside of the work place. He made a decision to share that work through social media. Now the public has been made aware of his deep- seeded, zealously hateful views toward a societal group.
“It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.” These are words that adorn Bob’s wall and words that he inspired other journalists to live by, but what he wrote on his blog wasn’t the news. Hate- filled speech serves its purpose in our society to make us aware of people with not only venomous ideals but venomous natures.
     This nature was revealed to us, a group of his former employees, on multiple occasions. As editor, he would often complain about readers bothering him, personally attack employees behind their backs and make the newsroom, a place that is supposed to be an open environment, fearful.
     While we have the utmost respect for Bob’s right to his personal beliefs and his skills as a talented writer, we do believe that his hate speech makes him unsuitable to his position as a credible leader in the news industry.
     We ask the management of the Newton Daily News issue an apology to its readers and restore the credibility of this newspaper.
Matt Nosco, former Weeklies Editor
Dustin Turner, former Sports Reporter
Dave Hon, former News Reporter
Nicole Wiegand, former Niche Publications Editor

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