Detroit editor apologizes for changing Chrysler review
Jonathan Wolman, the editor and publisher of the Detroit News, writes in Saturday’s paper that changing auto critic Scott Burgess‘ review of the Chrysler 200 after an advertiser complained was a mistake. Burgess quit after the changes were made.
Wolman writes, “While our intent was to improve the piece by making these passages less grating, our decision to make these changes after fielding an advertiser’s complaint was a humbling mistake. As publisher and editor, I want to apologize to our readers and of course to Scott. Once the review was published we should have maintained the wording in all our formats and avoided any sense that we were acting at the influence of any interest aside from our readers’ interest.
“Why is that so important? The credibility of our journalism is our calling card to your doorstep and your digital screen. We simply cannot act at any behest but yours and we must avoid any appearance to the contrary.
“It is a fact of life that our reviews will sometimes ruffle commercial feathers. For example, in our On Screen section Friday, one of our movie reviews appeared under the headline, ”Kaboom’ is incompetent, absurd.’ Whether we are reviewing a movie or a new Thai restaurant or a $90,000 sportster, our readers must be certain they have the author’s unvarnished opinion, free of any commercial or outside consideration. That’s our ongoing commitment.”