Me versus McClatchy

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

As I wrote in this article, I have a long-standing feud with The State newspaper in South Carolina. I have now written to McClatchy Holdings CEO Gary Pruitt twice stating my concerns over how The State newspaper functions. The first letter I sent to Mr. Pruitt was forwarded to the President of The State and I had a meeting with him and two of his Vice President’s. Nothing changed. So, I sent a second letter to Mr. Pruitt. In it, I basically told him not to even bother sending the letter to Mr. Haitz (President of The State) for action since nothing changed after the first meeting and there was little indication a second meeting would yield different results.

It has been about a month since I mailed the second letter to Mr. Pruitt. I didn’t include my phone number in the letter nor my address, although the envelope had my address for postal reasons. Given the tone of my letter and lack of included information I didn’t expect a response.

Well, I didn’t expect one, but, I got one. My phone rang and it was the McClatchy Washington Bureau.

The person I spoke to (sorry, no names) from McClatchy was acting on behalf of Mr. Pruitt and the Board of Directors of McClatchy as the liaison between The State and myself concerning my letter. I’m still not sure how they found my phone number, but, they did.

It seems this part of my letter struck a cord with them as it was specifically mentioned:

I am sure that now, as then, you simply don’t care. As long as the newspaper remains profitable they can do as they please. It is true that being a conservative state the majority of readers will like the conservative slant of these papers. It is also true that media should be honest and information distributed factual. They should be the first to find corruption in the state, not the last. They should be denouncing the vitriol, not printing letters that are soaked with it.


While there can be disagreement about how a paper functions, and we both agreed with that point, I was assured that they do, in fact, care. That they took the time to hunt me down  and call me in addition to a letter I’m supposedly going to receive is a testament to that fact. It remains to be seen if they only care about public relations, or, if they care about how their papers function. We’ll see.

As I understand from our conversation, they are already speaking with people at The State concerning my complaints. While the person tried to defend the paper, one part of our conservation did strike a cord – that the paper doesn’t investigate corruption within the state. He took that as a challenge and stated he would put that challenge to those at The State to prove that they have, in fact, done investigations. I already know the answer – none – and maybe it will open his eyes, as well.

While I have my disagreements with The State newspaper, one source in South Carolina is constantly ahead of the curve; the Associated Press. I’ll be writing to them to let them know I appreciate their investigative reporting.

I’m not holding out hope for change, but, at least I’ve gotten their attention.