Cloudy Skies At 'The Sun': Baltimore Paper Faces Protest Over Use Of Sinclair Content

The Washington Post is not the only mid-Atlantic newsroom roiling with discontent. 

The nearby Baltimore Sun is also facing tensions, although they are somewhat different in nature. They have to do with the fact that the Sun has started publishing articles from Sinclair Broadcast Group, of which new co-owner David D. Smith is chairman, and its local TV station Fox45.

The Baltimore Sun Guild is protesting this, along with some of the content published thus far. 

For instance, it cites a June 3 article that made references to “illegal immigrants.” 

This term is “not used in The Sun, per industry best practices from the Associated Press, which do not condone referring to people as ‘illegal,’ the union states.

That article was later corrected. But staffers are also unhappy about a May 8 opinion column by co-owner Armstrong Williams. The column “likened the ‘transgender movement’ to a ‘cancer,’ and used the terms ‘biological male’ and ‘biological female’ to exclude transgender people, which AP stylebook instructs journalists to avoid,” the union continues.



Of course, publishers are free to partner with other news organizations, whatever their politics, and critics might counter that the Sun staff is too progressive. But editorial standards must be agreed on and upheld.

The Guild also alleges that they staff wasn't notified in advance about the Sinclair use. 

The union insists that Sun management hold a meeting with the staff to address those concerns and explain the Sinclair and Fox 45 agreements, and that the Sun stop sharing Sinclair content until that meeting is held. Finally, it demands that all stories published in Sun adhere to the same journalistic standards as the staff, including The Sun’s Cultural Competency Guide created by the newsroom’s Diversity Committee. 




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