Plain Dealer Gets Dart Over Prosecutor Complaint On Drug Series


The Cleveland Plain Dealer has received a “dart” from the Columbia Journalism Review for not “aggressively” backing former reporter Bob Paynter after a complaint by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason about a series on race and the justice system. The series found that blacks arrested on first time drug charges “were 66 percent more likely to be saddled with a felony record than their white counterparts.”

The journalism review piece in its “darts and laurels” column, which was not available online, says that the newspaper gave Mason space for an op-ed article criticizing the series even through he had refused to comment before it was published. The newspaper did not give Paynter a chance to comment on Mason’s points, said the review. Still, the publication reports that Mason will review how the drug cases were handled.


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