Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Notice From The Courant

From: "Savastra, Andrea"
To: donaldpesci@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2:34:28 PM
Subject: Hartford Courant Statement On George Gombossy Matter

We read your recent postings in regard to George Gombossy and are forwarding an official company statement in response. Thank you.

Company Statement:

The overriding consideration on stories reported by the Hartford Courant is making sure the facts are thoroughly checked out and correct. Our advertisers have no influence on what we report, including stories that may include them. This is a long time Courant policy.

Our readers and advertisers do and should expect us to report stories we know are accurate and fully reported. George Gombossy’s story needs and is receiving additional checking and verification. This is a common practice required by our editors with all Courant news stories, including columns by Mr. Gombossy, and while employed with the Courant, he was well aware of this and accepted and followed this policy over the years.

While Mr. Gombossy's position was eliminated, he was made aware of the newly-defined consumer reporter position that will be combined with our newspaper, television station and Web site. He did not express interest.

Andrea Savastra

Corporate Affairs & Communications Consultant

Hartford Courant/WTIC/WTXX - TV

860-241-3934



Andrea,

I'm always surprised when anyone reads anything I write.

The blog entrĂ©e was a very short notice that did contain a link, a story in the New York Times that features Ms. Hazell’s responses to assertions made by Mr. Gombossy. I think it’s a pretty fair account of the issues on both sides.

But I do want you to know that as a courtesy to you I am publishing your letter to me on the blog.

Perhaps you’ll humor me by answering a couple of questions.

You write, “Our readers and advertisers do and should expect us to report stories we know are accurate and fully reported. George Gombossy’s story needs and is receiving additional checking and verification.”

What was it in the story that alerted some watchdog at the Courant that Mr. Gombossy’s story needed checking and verification?

He is getting much of his information from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, and I think Mr. Gombossy mentions that this is the only time he had written a story relying on information from the attorney general’s office that had been challenged by the paper.

You write that the paper’s fact checking policy “… is a common practice required by our editors with all Courant news stories, including columns by Mr. Gombossy, and while employed with the Courant, he was well aware of this and accepted and followed this policy over the years.”

Am I to assume that every story written by Mr. Gombossy that contains information supplied to him by the attorney general’s office has been similarly treated?

Just curious,

Don
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