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Spokane Editor Steve Smith Resigns

Long time public journalism advocate Steven A. Smith’s resignation as editor of the Spokane Spokesman-Review becomes effective today October 3, 2008.

In an interview with Michele McLellan he said:

The journalism that’s important to me is no longer possible…It is no longer my job or our job to save newspapers. Our job is to save journalism and the values that underlie newspaper journalism.

Smith has long been a part of the public journalism movement and was among the early advocates of the Public Journalism Network. He also is a key player in our “Outing of Mayor Jim West” ethics case study here at the The case study is available for any journalism ethics class to use.

In an Spokesman Review press release Smith is quoted as saying:

“my resignation as editor of The Spokesman-Review should not overshadow
the simultaneous layoff of more than 25 newsroom staffers. Those journalists losing their
jobs are among the newspaper’s best and brightest. I hired most of them. I pledge to do
everything possible to help them find new opportunities in the profession we love.”

The newsroom staff has been cut to 85 or about half its former size since 2000, according to McLellan.

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