According to L.A. Observed, Miriam Pawel applied for an employee buyout and it was accepted. The series on the United Farm Workers ran earlier this year and has been criticized by the union and by others in California, including in an opinion piece on the paper’s editorial page.
The paper fears that her departure will be used by the union to help “spin” their side of the story. Editor Dean Baquet said her decision had “absolutely nothing to do with the UFW series. I thought it was a terrific piece of journalism, and her decision to leave came before publication of the story.”
LA Obserbed writes: “In truth, the seeds of Pawel’s departure were sown after she lost her title as the assistant managing editor for Metro in 2004 and went back to reporting. I mentioned she was likely to leave back in the first post about the UFW stories on January 8. Newsroom speculation is that Pawel hopes to write a book, perhaps on the UFW.”