OLD Media Moves

LA Times biz columnist suspended, reassigned

April 29, 2006

Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State column has been canceled, and Hiltzik will serve a suspension and then be reassigned to another position at the paper, according to an Editor’s Note on Saturday, in the wake of a disclosure that he posted comments, some using a pseudonym, on other blogs.

An investigation found no ethical transgressions related to the column by Hiltzik, a Pulitze Prize winner.

The editor’s note stated, “The Times is discontinuing Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State column, which ran in the Business section, because the columnist violated the newspaper’s ethics guidelines. This follows the suspension last week of his blog on latimes.com, which also has been discontinued.

Michael Hiltzik“Hiltzik has acknowledged using pseudonyms to post a single comment on his blog on latimes.com and multiple comments elsewhere on the Web that dealt with his column and other issues involving the newspaper.

“Hiltzik did not commit any ethical violations in his newspaper column, and an internal inquiry found no inaccurate reporting in his postings in his blog or on the Web. But employing pseudonyms constitutes deception and violates a central tenet of The Times’ ethics guidelines: Staff members must not misrepresent themselves and must not conceal their affiliation with The Times. This rule applies equally to the newspaper and the Web world.”

Read the rest of the editor’s note here.

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