Wednesday, September 14, 2005

When my wife makes news ....

You may have noticed that my wife, Judge Dina Foster, was named Civitan Citizen of the Year on Tuesday.

You might wonder how we handle stories like that when there is an obvious conflict.

The short answer is: I butt out!

When we hear about something like that, I immediately remove myself from all decision-making on the story -- how it is written, how long the story is, where it is played and everything else about it.

In this case, our reporter on the story, Cassie Tarpley, reported to my boss, Publisher Jennie Lambert, who directed her on where the story should go in the paper (at the very bottom of 1A).

I happen to know this is consistent with coverage of other "citizens of the year." (I.e. last year's Lions club citizen of the year was at the top of 1A). Others have run on the Local front, depending on the news of the day.

Anyway, we keep that out of my hands and also have somebody that works over me make the call so the folks under me don't feel pressured.

The truth is, I would be much more likely to UNDERplay the story than overplay it, just to avoid any appearance of impropriety. I remember hating it when my dad refereed by youth league basketball games, because I knew he would be harder on me than anybody else, just so nobody would think he was playing favorites.


Anonymous said...

You handled it perfectly. Judge Foster deserves front page. She is absolutely the most caring, deliberate judge on the bench. Your position should have no bearing on where her accomplishments/acknowledgements in our community are posted in The Star..

Anonymous said...

As usual, Mr. Foster, your sense of propriety is on point. Congratulations to Dina.

Anonymous said...

As a former divorcee who stood before your wife during child support 'discussions' several years ago, she deserves every accolade available in Cleveland County. She restored my sense of self and purpose while trying to raise my childen by myself. And by the way, with her help, I did a pretty good job!